The Small Business Guide To Bring Your Own Device

License: Creative Commons image source

License: Creative Commons image source

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has been gaining momentum in the business sector for almost half a decade now. The fact that the scheme is beginning to slowly creep into the mainstream business is a sure indication that BYOD brings success – yet there are still some major concerns executives have to resolve before allowing staff to use their own device for work purposes.

 The following guide tackles some of the most common questions that are asked by key decision makers and business owners about BYOD technology.

1 – What is the concept of BYOD?

The BOYD initiative allows staff to access the companies IT network using their own personal devices that they bring from home. These devices commonly include laptops and tablet devices.

2 – What are the Benefits of implementing BYOD?

There are numerous benefits of BYOD that work for both employer and employee. Surveys show that giving staff the flexibility to use their own devices improves mobility, gives them better job satisfaction and produces an increase in efficiency and productivity.

For the employer, IT costs are reduced, there is no need to train staff how to use their devices and you have a competitive edge over your rivals.

3 – How do you ensure network security over BYOD´s?

The toughest hurdle IT technicians have to encounter when taking the decision to implement a BYOD scheme is security, as there isn’t any software that promises 100 per cent protection.

Currently, the best method is to store data on servers in a main data centre and allow mobile devices to access it from a virtual desktop. This method ensures all data is saved to the network, rather than allowing users to save data to their handsets.

4 – How can BYOD help me reduce costs?

Because employees are responsible for the maintenance of their own devices, the company will not need to purchase expensive IT equipment and the IT department will not need as much support staff so you can cut down on wages.

In addition, because employees are already familiar with their devices there is no training involved and productivity levels increase.

5 – If employees have to maintain their devices what happens when a device breaks?

It is easy to see why this strategy may cause problems among staff, but the easy way around it is to have spare handsets available from the IT department. That way, employees can continue working whilst their own handset is repaired or replaced. Our IT Department in London for example keeps a trolley of preconfigured laptops in the server room for when staff either forget to bring their device to work, or if there is a technical problem. Because all work is accessed from the cloud, the transition from one device to another is seamless.

 6 – What mobile management software should I use?

The best device management solutions on the current market are Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, Blackberry BES and Good Technology.

7 – How will the role of the IT department change?

With a BYOD scheme, IT has less devices to attend to and can therefore focus their attention on systems that are owned by the company and vital for the running of the business. More time can be spent improving existing systems that will help the business grow.

8 – How have people responded to BYOD schemes in other companies?

In general, employees have embraced working with their own device – and others demanded it. Surveys show employees prefer the flexibility, the familiarity and the convenience of working with their own device.

A survey conducted by eMarketer showed that the number of employees participating in BYOD schemes had leapt from 60.2 million users in 2010 to a speculated 106.7 million users in 2012.

9 – Are there any potential problems with staff?

That depends on your internal BYOD policy. Providing you do not place too many restrictions on the use of personal handsets and sell the benefits to your employees you should have too many problems. The rest is really up to how your employees accept and adhere to your policy.

Other considerations.

If you are considering implementing a BYOD make sure you have a clear policy of what employees can and cannot do. For example, how they use the personal device in work; what right of access each employ has to the network server; can they access the server from home; what actions deserve disciplinary action and what are the consequences.

Useful Resources.

BYOD wiki page – click here

Data protection guidence for BYOD users – click here

About the Author: David is an IT professional of 11 years and counting. He continues to document his ideas and experiences and has over 75 articles published on mainstream technology and business blogs.   

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One Response to “The Small Business Guide To Bring Your Own Device”

  1. Tessa
    October 2, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

    The company I work for has recently introduced BYOD. Personally, I think its a kop out, a way for employers to reduce their annual IT costs because they don’t have to buy any hardware. If businesses or schools introduce BYOD then they should give people some sort of incentive to wear out their own equipment.

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