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As a system administrator, I used to be responsible for provisioning and administering company blackberries for users. This covered everything from setup, training, support, and the unpleasantries of importing employee-owned phone numbers and contacts onto devices, troubleshooting mobile signal issues, and dealing with lost phones. 

The process was especially problematic when employees left the organization–more so if the separation was involuntary on their part–because everything had to be reversed, and usually via urgent priority, so that the employee could get their number back, have their data exported and so forth. Hours upon hours were spent working on this instead of doing more meaningful work.

SEE: Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policy (TechRepublic Premium)

The BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) movement changed all that. With BYOD, the expense of providing employees company-owned devices and then supporting them was replaced with employee allowances to use their own phones, tablets, and laptops to conduct business operations. A standard set of instructions enables most users to connect their devices to company networks, systems, or applications, and the employee’s device vendor handles the bulk of the support and/or hardware replacement. 

It’s a win-win for both employees and businesses. Businesses save money and labor costs. Employee familiarity with their own devices greatly improves productivity and helps reduce operational issues and difficulties.

Of course, there must be a structure for security and data usage in order for BYOD to work. This where implementing a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policy comes into play. IT departments must mandate device controls such as passwords, pins, or biometric settings in order to enable access to the device. Only authorized individuals should be permitted to use these devices. Data encryption should be used to protect information. In some cases it may be necessary to mandate that only essential apps should be installed on employee-owned devices to reduce the risk of exposure to malware or data breaches. Furthermore, there must be a set of rules in place for when employees depart the company to ensure all company access and material is securely removed from their devices. A thorough BYOD policy will include the most important rules and regulations regarding employ usage of their own devices.

TechRepublic Premium’s Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policy contains the full scope of details for your company to get started with BYOD policy. The policy template can be customized to meet the needs of your organization.

SEE: Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policy (TechRepublic Premium)