In Depth: Rolling Out BYOD In Your Company

BYOD or Bring Your Own Device is a trend in businesses everywhere, and the struggle to roll it out properly to  employees is real. There are so many factors to consider from how to support smartphones, tablets, and laptops, to how to manage them. It can be very overwhelming to the people tasked with implementing BYOD. To help those people out, I connected to Ching Mac of Citrix Canada to get his advice on rolling out BYOD. The advantage of going to Citrix Canada to talk about BYOD is that they themselves have an excellent BYOD policy that allows their employees to use whatever device or devices that work for them and they cover part of the cost. Thus they talk the talk and walk the walk on the BYOD front using their own suite of products. That makes them uniquely qualified to speak to the subject.

First of all, why go the BYOD route? There are many reasons. It increases productivity and employee satisfaction. That’s because you now have an employee that is using the device or devices that they feel will make them most productive. It can save the company money and allow the employee to work anywhere. The latter item being a huge point as that can tie into the employee being more productive. Finally, a key point is that it stops “shadow IT” from popping up in your company. That’s when employees do everything possible to do what they want and avoid corporate IT in the process.

Now, what do you have to keep in mind when you come up with a BYOD policy for your company? One thing to keep in mind is that a successful BYOD policy will touch many areas of the business. Finance, HR, IT just to name three. This will help you do things like define who is eligible to take part as not every employee can or should be part of this. Or which devices are allowed? What corporate services are available to you on a BYOD device? Plus making sure that every employe understands what the policy is. Finally there’s the issues of who’s paying for what, and the IT security considerations that may affect a BYOD policy. If you’re a heavily regulated environment such as health care, that can be a major consideration as data leakage can be “career limiting.” Not to mention what the implications of a lost or stolen device, or using a device on an unsecured network. All of these need to be thought through before rolling out a BYOD policy.

Can a BYOD policy be platform agnostic? That’s an issue as there are some businesses who for example won’t support an Apple product and force users down the path of Windows or Android for example. Properly structured, it can be platform agnostic. If you take offerings for Citrix as an example be it their Xen Mobile or Citrix receiver for example, they support every plaform out there with a similar look and field. Thus users truly have a choice in terms of what device to use without placing an undue burden on IT.

For more infomation on this important topic, Citrix has a great white paper that is full of all sorts of information that businesses need to know when going down this path. In my mind, businesses cannot affort not to look at BYOD. Despite the fact that there’s a lot to consider, BYOD can be a positive for an employer if it is properly implemented.

 

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