Not too long ago, employers chose what type of devices employees would utilize in the workplace – and more often than not, the same device was handed to every employee. This made it easy for organizations to manage and control hardware. The one caveat with this scenario however, is that not all devices are created equal. Choice of features and capabilities have made device selection more personalizable, meeting the demands of the user. This personalization can be a great advantage for any size organization - allowing employees to utilize the tools they feel best suit their needs empowers them with the flexibility to conduct business in their own terms. However, company guidelines must also be taken into consideration to ensure employee efforts strive for the good of the company.
In a properly deployed BYOD scenario, employees are enabled to use one device and maximize its capability to complete tasks for both work and personal life.
With smartphone adoption at an all-time high, “Bring your own device” or BYOD has become a great enabler of all-sized businesses as it allows employees to balance work and personal life via their smartphone. In a properly deployed BYOD scenario, employees are enabled to use one device and maximize its capability to complete tasks for both work and personal life. While there are a slew of solutions made available in today's market that will do everything imaginable, connecting a multitude of smart devices, I think it best that we start with the basics.
Although times have changed and BYOD is now slowly becoming the norm, proper planning by any business and collaboration with its IT advisor or department is still key to successfully deploying said solution.
Now, what should you consider when deploying a BYOD implementation?
Identifying your organization’s BYOD scenarios: Namely, what department and/or personnel require access and to what data? What applications can be utilized to access said data? Not all types of access has to be created equal. Business should outline and assess the limitations around certain device specifications, OS offerings and applications, as well as how to tackle varying levels of data access. All of this is important in planning for a successful BYOD deployment.
Identifying business sanctioned device/OS/application choices: As mentioned in the point above, not all devices contain the same specifications, not all applications safely complete the same task and not all OS offerings provide the same capabilities. So why should all devices/OS offerings/applications gain the same access? Providing choice to supported employees allows for them to choose the device/OS/application they want, but also educates them about which device will provide the most favorable outcome to stay connected at work.
Identifying a simplified BYOD on-boarding, support and reporting solution: Embracing BYOD should not put additional strain on an organization. Ideally a properly deployed solution should allow for self-servicing with minimal IT intervention. If planned properly, reporting should give you all the insight to be proactive and not reactive when it comes to support, thus allowing your organization to avert fires instead of putting them out.
Gain department buy-in on usage policies: Always include departmental buy-in from all facets of the business in regard to usage policy creation and adoption. This ensures all aspects of the organization have agreed to the BYOD terms of utilization and have agreed to jointly enforce it. This aligns the organization around one central plan and allows for future discussion around additional BYOD enablement and growth.
BYOD provides great potential to one's organization when planned for. Proper planning, device selection and internal alignment are all important in enabling a business for BYOD deployment. Alongside the solutions offered by Microsoft, businesses have the ability to embrace new tools and provide resources that enable employees to utilize their device of choice most effectively and efficiently.