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Implementing BYOD Policies

Questions to consider

With the growing trends in mobilization and virtualization, the implementation of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies is increasingly popular among businesses around the globe. In a time when the majority of employees own a smartphone, laptop, or tablet, it makes sense that they should have the ability to conduct business using their personal devices. Realizing that these resources are already available, and most likely already in the hands of employees, businesses are making the shift towards BYOD workplaces. This practice improves employee satisfaction, while simultaneously growing business.

However, while the excitement surrounding BYOD grows, businesses must establish effective policies to prevent potential risks. In making the shift to BYOD environments, IT departments face many issues. For instance, how can data remain secure when employees are transporting their devices to and from work every day? How can one platform accommodate the increasing number of available devices and operating systems? How will the work experience change when employees are mobile?

While you're thinking about implementing a BYOD policy, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

Will a BYOD Policy Increase Security Risks?
Though the issue of security seems to top the list of concerns when it comes to BYOD policies, deterring employees from using their own devices can backfire. The truth is, if working from a personal device provides more convenience, employees will most likely break the rules when they are in a jam. Without a BYOD policy in place to educate staff on best practices, employees could be putting company information at risk unintentionally. For that reason, a carefully crafted BYOD policy is a plus for security purposes.

Will Employees Store Sensitive Data on Their Devices?
Companies can minimize the need for employees to store company information on smartphones and tablets by mobilizing core business applications. If employees can access business files and processes on-the-go as needed, it reduces the possibility that they will store data on personal devices.

How Can Business Applications Cater to Multiple Devices?
While mobilizing business applications increases overall productivity, it can end up creating more work for IT departments that are already overburdened. By leveraging a mobile enterprise application platform (MEAP), IT departments can mobilize an existing business application, deploy it across multiple devices and cater to the unique look and feel of the device from which the app is accessed. This eliminates the need for IT departments to individually program for each device.

How Can We Mobilize Legacy Apps?
Legacy systems are often the most essential applications for conducting business, but the platforms on which these systems run are generally expensive and obsolete. This can make mobilizing these applications difficult and time-consuming. To combat this, businesses can deploy an integration platform that allows legacy systems to easily connect with other services through automated actions and adjust as needed as new applications are added.

Will Mobility Change the Work Experience?
Yes, transitioning from desktop computers to mobile devices will change the work experience. The attention span of mobile users is a fraction of the attention span of desktop users, so IT professionals should keep this in mind when mobilizing business applications. Keep users productive and engaged with mobilized versions that aren't too complicated.

Will a BYOD Policy Save the Company Money?
With a shift toward BYOD, employees have the ability to complete their work from anywhere, at any time. This is especially true when companies provide access to mission-critical applications via mobile devices. This change in policy results in hours of work completed outside of the 9-to-5 workday.

How Can the Company Capitalize on Deploying Mobile Applications?
The concept of mobility is not just limited to the workplace and employees. Beyond the productivity benefits, mobility can also lead to new growth opportunities for businesses. For instance, the creation and deployment of branded apps leads to greater brand advocacy and, in some cases, creates a new revenue stream. A corporate app can prove extremely beneficial, especially if it's approached in a similar way to the mobilization of internal business apps. For example, make sure that the app can be easily deployed across multiple devices, provides an intuitive experience for consumers, and reinforces the corporation's messages and branding.

While BYOD seems to be an almost inevitable shift for businesses, the key is to ensure that the policies governing the switch to BYOD are effective. The purpose of implementing mobility in the workplace and the consumer market is to help the company grow, while simultaneously reinforcing its mission.

More Stories By Regev Yativ

Regev Yativ is President and CEO of Magic Software Enterprises Americas. He is responsible for the company’s business operations in the Americas (North America, Canada and Latin America), and is based in the U.S. Before this he served as Magic Software’s managing director in Europe and Japan, significantly growing those regions. Yativ holds a BA from Israel’s Tel Aviv University.

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