Enterprises across the world are giving in to the increasing trend of employees bringing their personal mobile devices to work. However, as the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend grows, it is likely to impact the way IT support and enterprise data security is provided and managed.
Here are some of the challenges that enterprises are grappling with in following the BYOD trend;
- Multi-platform device support: As the mobile stack grows, what are the platforms that the IT department should support?
- Corporate data security: Considering the diversity of devices and platforms, should these devices be allowed to access data, applications, mail and collaboration tools using the enterprise network just as corporate owned devices? What sort of security safeguards need to be in place?
- Network connectivity for these devices: How should these devices access the corporate infrastructure? Should there be dedicated networks for these devices?
- Device and usage monitoring: As the number of mobile devices in the hands of employees grows, what sort of monitoring should be in place with respect to type and number of devices accessing the network and how should usage expenses of these devices be controlled?
- Application access: How should BYOD users access the various applications? Should they be allowed to download applications on to their devices or should they access applications using virtual desktops or terminal services? What is the impact of the same on user experience?
- Theft, loss, and separation policy: What happens to corporate data when an employee leaves the organization or loses his / her device? How can corporate data be safeguarded?
- Device break fix and level of support for users: For what types of issues should the user call the Help desk? What sort of loaner policy should the enterprise have to address downtime of these devices?
- Compliance expectations from users: What should be the compliance expectations from users vis-à-vis usage of these devices as a part of BYOD?
The benefits of implementing a BYOD solution outstrip the challenges. To leverage the benefits of this trend, it is worthwhile to plan and implement a well-thought-out BYOD strategy. The strategy should ensure that adequate safeguards are built into protecting the enterprise, while at the same time, allowing employees to choose their own device and platform in order to improve productivity and satisfaction.