Agility. It’s more important than ever, and only becoming more so. Your IT infrastructure has to accommodate an increasingly mobile workforce, and the most successful companies work to some degree in a distributed manner. The distinctions between working and personal lives are blurring.
Shaping your policy on worker devices is an essential element of successfully keeping you agile, flexible, and distributed. Should your employees be bringing and using their own devices for work? Or do you need locked-down, work-only devices? Perhaps some combination of the two?
Having this dialled-in will help any corporate leader be more comfortable offering the flexible schedules and work locations that are becoming increasingly important to attracting the top talent in your field.
A strong bring your own device (BYOD) policy is enticing, but knowing when to use this and when to balance it with other alternatives is equally important.
When BYOD policies do and don’t work for Canadian businesses
Allowing your employees to bring and use their own devices for work entails certain risks you have to consider. These include:
- Possible data insecurity with untrained use
- Opaque IT infrastructure
- Higher cost born by employees
- Software integration issues across the company
Additionally, the increased cost a mandatory BYOD policy potentially puts on a new hire can also be a deterrent.
However, with risks mitigated the right way and a fully trained staff, there are significant gains you stand to profit from, such as:
- Lower IT maintenance and acquisition costs
- Increased flexibility for employees
- Increased productivity and familiarity with the operating systems people are already using
- A happier staff able to work when, where, and how they want
Every company should be exploring some ways to implement a BYOD scheme with remote work options to stay competitive and attractive these days. But there are several things to keep in mind.
Does a BYOD policy comply with the regulatory requirements you operate under? Are you in a field where data protection is of heightened legal concern? It’s important to check all the legal codes and requirements that govern your industry and that apply to the sorts of data you collect.
By consulting with an IT professional like Quicktech, you can rest easy knowing that your business is fully compliant with industry regulations. They’ll audit your BYOD strategy and recommend services and solutions to ensure compliance. They’ll even provide cybersecurity measures that allow you to encrypt data and set access restrictions across your devices to protect your most sensitive assets.
BYOD policies sometimes incur additional costs along the way. To mitigate against employee misuse, investing in employee training is always worth the cost. Depending on the policy, software licensing and hardware upgrades and improvements may also be called for. Is your budget flexible enough to absorb these outlays as they pop up?
Current in-house capacity and expertise
Employee training doesn’t always have to be outsourced. Do you have an in-house IT team capable of training your team on proper, safe, and secure practices and procedures for using their personal devices as work devices?
If you’ve already got a team that can train them, you’re in a good position to implement a broad BYOD policy. The same goes for mobile device management and distributed IT systems. But don’t assume your in-house guys can handle it all. Having the best and most knowledgeable IT professionals overseeing device security should not be taken lightly, so make sure you know your current capacity.
As you craft a policy regarding the devices your team uses, make sure you are taking all things into consideration. Any time a business changes, it’s important to keep track of every change so you have a reference point to look back on. Know what has been added and altered, and make sure it is all in writing. Your plan needs to be clear and comprehensive, covering every aspect of security and breach response, allowable devices and uses, and authorized information storage platforms and procedures. This is another good time to consult with outside IT help if you need it.