In today’s world of mobile computing, it is impossible to ignore the impact that devices like smartphones, tablets, and increasingly capable and diminutive laptops have had on the work environment. This added flexibility enables employees to take work they might have had to do on a company computer late at night into a much more comfortable and manageable situation, in the comfort of their living room with family on a personal device of their choosing. The early results in employee productivity are very positive, and it is not exactly a surprise either: with the ever-increasing ubiquity of connectivity, being productive anywhere, at any time is something that has to be accounted for by any company that wants to boost productivity of their workforce. One example of the impact of BYOD is seen with wearable devices in the video below:
How then does a company go about developing well thought-out, secure policy that takes any number of contingencies into consideration, while still remaining flexible enough to please employees’ personal preferences and encouraging efficient production outside the workplace? Here are some guidelines for high-level planning of how to establish your company’s BYOD policies in a way that makes sense.
Putting Together a Team
Assembling a team which represents the input from critical departments that will go into your decision-making process is the first thing that needs to be done. This includes perspectives from people within your legal departments, financial departments, IT support staff, and security.
Research and Development
R&D as it pertains to each group is the next step. The security team needs to understand their respective challenges, including how BYOD policy pertains to company data protection, potential holes in accessing an employee’s personal device that are used in the workplace, etc. For example, one policy the company may decide to implement that demonstrates a compromise between security and personal freedom is to allow employee to buy devices from a single manufacturer; more on how this might be realised is at BYOD Dell. This kind of solution ultimately reinforcessome of the goals of IT support while remaining more economical, and might legally be more easily feasible, thus sharing backing from multiple research teams.
Meeting of Minds
The goal here is to find ideas that meet the criteria of multiple departments, like the aforementioned single manufacturer proposal. Research needs to be presented and debated with the whole policy team in order to determine the best ideas. Summaries of the findings will be circulated and discussed before an internal review determines what will appear in the first draft proposal.
Draft Implementation and Tweaking
A draft should then be submitted for internal review, upon which more feedback is solicited and various concerns from different departments are considered. Further, actively seeking opinions from employees outside of the decision-making process will shape what the final policy will look like. When enough feedback has been gathered, the final policy revisions begin until you have that meets a variety of needs.
Remember, nothing has to be final here and can be subject to change. But at this point, it is best to just put your finished policy into the real-world and see how BYOD increases employee satisfaction and productivity. After a while of observing its effectiveness, necessary changes can be put into effect into future revisions.