7 Best Practices for a BYOD Strategy

Everybody is talking about bring-your-own device (BYOD) policies – allowing employees to use their personal laptops, smartphones or tablets for work.  Whether your business has a formal BYOD policy in place or not, the reality is that many people already use their personal mobile devices for work.  This can have a very positive impact on business – choosing which device is best for them and when empowers workers and makes them more productive – but it also raises many security concerns for the enterprise. How can employees access enterprise applications and confidential business information on their personal devices without raising serious compliance, security and privacy risks?  How can IT control license management issues or conduct support?  What happens when employees use unmanaged third-party apps?

Implementing a BYOD policy can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.  The best approach to a BYOD strategy will vary from organization to organization, based on individual priorities and concerns, but here are seven best practices that every business should consider when developing a BYOD policy:

1. Who is eligible?

An organization should first determine who is eligible to use their own devices for work.  One way to determine who can participate in a BYOD policy is to apply certain criteria, such as worker type, performance or frequency of travel.    However, no matter how broad the requirements for BYOD may be, managers should have final say over approval.

2. Which devices are allowed?

If your organization wants to install applications directly on endpoints, IT will have to determine the minimum requirements for OS, application support and other criteria.  This can become complicated very quickly.  A more efficient and secure solution is desktop virtualization, which allows workers to run a full Windows desktop on any device.  

3. What services are available?

A BYOD policy doesn’t have to be all or nothing – you should think about what services you want to make available on personally-owned devices and to whom.  Will this vary based on user type, device type or network?  There are many scenarios and you should choose the one that’s best for your business.

4. Communicate the rollout plan

Once your BYOD policy is ready for rollout, communication will be a key to its success.  Workers should receive guidance on what device is best for their needs. They should also be counselled on the rights and responsibilities that come with using a personally-owned device for business.   It’s important to reinforce acceptable use policies and segregate work data from personal data.

5. Who will share the cost?

One of the biggest advantages to a BYOD policy is cost savings – having workers pay some or all of the costs for work devices can really improve an organization’s bottom line.  Additionally, a BYOD strategy can keep IT from having to procure and maintain certain hardware.   Many companies offer incentives to participate in a BYOD strategy, such as rewarding employees with a stipend or some other form of compensation.  Considerations should be taken to give your organization the best ROI on a BYOD policy.

6. Security and compliance

Most CIOs are concerned about the security risks involved in a BYOD strategy.  Installing appliances directly on personally-owned devices can raise many security and compliance concerns – this is why an enterprise mobility management solution is recommended.  Through desktop and app virtualization, all business information remains secure within the datacenter – not on a worker’s personally owned device.

7. Support and maintenance

Because the user is also the owner, a BYOD strategy greatly reduces the total maintenance required for each laptop, tablet or smartphone.  However, a BYOD policy must clearly define how various support and maintenance tasks will be handles – and who will pay for them.

In choosing the best BYOD strategy for your organization, there are many factors to consider.  No BYOD policy is one size fits all – that’s why many organizations utilize BYOD solutions from trusted companies like Citrix.  Citrix supports BYOD by offering a unified app store, Windows and app virtualization and secure file sharing for a complete enterprise mobility management solution.  

Citrix is not only a leader in mobile workstyles, but an early adopter of bring-your-own device for its own employees.