Is It Time To Bring Your Own Device?

Is It Time To Bring Your Own Device?

Today smartphones and the ever-increasing array of mobile computing devices are gradually hazing the lines between our personal and professional lives. Individuals are using their smartphones to run their business more smoothly and for perceiving a better work-life balance. They do not anticipate seeking permission from their IT administrators for using their personal devices at work; they just do it. This puts the responsibility on the IT administrator to identify and monitor the smartphone users and smartphone data stream.

So is this BYOD trend bothering IT administrators? Is IT confused about which devices to support and which to omit? Since they don’t own the devices and have no visibility into the devices and their applications, how do they choose where to draw the line? How do you manage productive hours? If you embrace this trend, are there any third party security and compliance rules? Are cost savings, productivity gains, a secured environment, etc., BYOD myths or actual BYOD deliverables?

Preparing the right BYOD mobile policy is a key challenge that IT administrators face. Certainly there is no single policy that applies across all user groups, as not all user groups have similar user needs. Thus, IT must engage different divisions, such as Human Resources, Sales, Legal, network team to understand their device use needs, preferred applications, and any concerns they may have. Some of the BYOD policy questions to consider include:

  • Devices that will be maintained
  • Available data plans
  • Mobile device security implications
  • Acceptable Usage Agreement (AUA) for devices with data plan

What type of personal data will never be collected?

For a secured mobile computing environment, it is obligatory to have an eye on all mobile devices residing in the corporate premises. Thus the mobile device management tool must look for any new devices joined to the corporate network and alert IT, in real time, via an email or a SMS. This is one of the prerequisites for managing expanding array of devices.

For efficient management of mobile devices, Over the Air (OTA) configuration is a noteworthy component for any BYOD program. Users must maximize the use of the OTA configuration for applying and updating profiles, settings and credentials required for contacting email, calendar, applications, the corporate VPN, and Wi-Fi. This not only lessens the load of the helpdesk but also allows to send commands, apply policies and execute quarantine actions from anywhere at any time.

One of the prime concerns among users is that their personal data may be viewed or wiped in case of any disaster. This makes them refrain from enrolling their devices into the BYOD program. It should be clear and self-explanatory to the users how the data is collected, what type of data will be used, what type of data cannot be collected, and what they gain by enrolling in the program. This will give each user the assurance that their personal data is secured.

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