User training is integral to the success of any Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiative. The training needs to educate users on your BYOD policies, device access, device security, and any other particulars for using personal devices inside your enterprise. Here are 10 key aspects of BYOD training.

1: Define what BYOD means for the organization

BYOD training should start with an introduction explaining what BYOD brings to the organization. This leadoff to the training should sell the initiative to your users while relating the effort to what it offers the overall business and your customers.

This introduction is also the time to clear up any misconceptions of BYOD at a high level. Unfortunately, a lot has been written about the downsides of BYOD. The training needs to tell the benefits BYOD is bringing to your organization.

2: Cover the process of onboarding BYOD devices

Onboarding devices into a BYOD program can be done in conjunction with BYOD training.  Even if you choose to onboard devices at another time, users need to know exactly what software their organization is installing on their personal device(s). This part of training also addresses:

  • Supported devices
  • Supported mobile operating systems
  • Supported apps, such as mobile office suites and productivity apps

Likewise, the training needs to cover what happens to corporate network access on a BYOD device when the employee leaves the organization.

3: Explain expense reimbursements and/or stipends

I put expense reimbursements high up on the training list because corporate usage of personal mobile devices means reimbursement for minutes and data usage that a user with a BYOD device might incur. While service management and expense reporting policies should be clearly documented, BYOD training is the time to open up the discussion about the expense policies.

If your organization is choosing to offer users a stipend for BYOD expenses, training is a good time to cover the stipend in detail. You can even have attendees apply for their stipend while they are attending the training session.

4: Define BYOD device security policies

User security across personal laptops and other mobile devices might run the gamut, but using the devices for BYOD means the organization needs to set security policies for them with the documentation to back up the security decisions.

When you include BYOD device security policies as part of BYOD training, it’s important to cover the following topics:

  • BYOD device password policies
  • Corporate WiFi network security
  • Hotel/public Wi-Fi security
  • BYOD device loss or theft policies

5: Review data ownership policies

Corporate data ownership policies should be in place when you launch a BYOD initiative. When corporate and personal data intermingle on a personal device, BYOD training should cover what the user can expect for corporate control over the data residing in their data. The training over data ownership policies could extend to the following:

  • Corporate vs. personal email
  • Social network access and account ownership
  • Business vs. personal contacts
  • Corporate data residing on the mobile device

6: Define what MDM is (and what MDM isn’t)

Mobile device management (MDM) provides security, management, and provisioning tools for BYOD devices that exist in the corporate enterprise. Introducing MDM onto a personal device is also the one element where corporate security and personal property interact and can lead to some big misconceptions.

While the overall BYOD policy should define the role of MDM, you can use time during the BYOD training to reinforce MDM understanding, including:

  • Break down a typical BYOD device and show how MDM affects the device features and security.
  • Describe MDM features and how they benefit the BYOD user.

7: Teach how to use mobile office suites on corporate documents

Tablet users might be interested in using mobile office suites, such as Quickoffice Pro HD and DocsToGo Current. Next-generation iPads and Android tablets are packing in the horsepower, with the mobile office apps adding new features. However, there are still questions to address during BYOD training, including:

  • Document security, such as policies set to prevent BYOD devices from having editing access to certain corporate documents.
  • Recommended mobile office app(s) based upon a test of accessing a selection of your organization’s documents.
  • Using a SharePoint iPad client such as or one of the other apps I profiled in Top apps for accessing SharePoint to access documents.

8: Define the responsibilities of BYOD device users

Responsibilities for BYOD users should be defined in the policy guidebook, but BYOD training is the time to address the more technical responsibilities — including logging in to the network to receive software, security, and app updates.

9: Teach how to access corporate resources from BYOD devices

If a BYOD initiative is prompting an influx of new mobile users into your organization, training should encompass how to use mobile devices to access the standard corporate enterprise resources that the BYOD users have permission to access, including:

  • Virtual private network (VPN)
  • Corporate email
  • Sales force automation tools
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) system

Even if some of these systems are already familiar to your users, putting them in the training and in the context of BYOD is what’s important.

10: Teach about technical support and escalation paths

The lines of support for BYOD devices may not always be clear when you first embark on a BYOD initiative. Tech support responsibilities most certainly have their place in the overall corporate BYOD policy, but they also need a spot in BYOD training to address:

  • Escalation paths for BYOD device issues that happen during the course of business.
  • Escalation paths for lost or stolen BYOD devices when the event occurs during the course of business.
  • Level of support that the organization offers per device type.

One other suggestion is to include any self-help sites for device users, especially those who travel frequently.

Final thoughts

BYOD training is a critical element of the overall BYOD initiative because it gives users, management, and the IT department an opportunity to address and learn essential security and policy elements at the program kickoff. It can also set the stage for an open dialog between BYOD users and management that can contribute to the success of the program.

More resources

For a comprehensive look at BYOD strategies, benefits, and challenges, check out ZDNet’s latest feature page, BYOD and the Consumerization of IT.

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