BYOD, aka Opportunity

The opportunities to maximize BYOD potential remain alive in today’s enterprise

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The buzz around BYOD has come and gone. However, BYOD still surfaces as a meaningful priority for organizations, and for good reason: There is much more that they can do to expand their BYOD use.

According to the recent CIO Survey, 52 percent of IT executives across all industries say their current progress with BYOD is very good or excellent, suggesting that quite a few feel they already have this trend in hand and are ready to move forward. But while some still see BYOD primarily as a more cost-effective way to reposition device ownership, a meaningful deployment goes much further.

For example, there is a dire need to secure company-specific applications and data on mobile devices, especially when the company doesn’t have ownership. Organizations need to know that they can wipe the device as soon as an employee leaves.

Also, CIOs should focus on making sure certain applications will not work outside a specified territory, or that certain information – R&D data, for example – is unavailable as soon as the employee leaves company headquarters. Unfortunately, not many CIOs have this granular level of management available to them.

Another area of importance is in securing and enhancing text messaging. While numerous communications options exist, the reality is that many people prefer texting, so there are a number of issues to address. For instance, if a manager is discussing something that should have a limited distribution (like a pending layoff), it’s crucial to make sure the recipient cannot copy or forward it to 10 other people. Instead, once the sender receives a read receipt, the message should disappear. Also, users should be able to schedule messages to reach people when they are most likely to read it. This is the level of device expedience that must exist in a solid BYOD platform.

Even after BYOD policies are in place, CIOs should still extend and enhance them to empower rather than handcuff the employee base. This means protecting company assets and educating people about the goal. That effort needs to be nonintrusive. And it is about making sure you put everything in context. For instance, it’s crucial to protect messages if someone is talking about financial information, but not when two employees are scheduling a coffee meeting.

Bottom line: BYOD can serve as a way for organizations to save money on devices, but the best strategies must add value for the employee as well.

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