Five critical BYOD mistakes to avoid | SupportBiz

Managing Growth

Five critical BYOD mistakes to avoid

Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) is becoming ubiquitous in the enterprise. Unfortunately, while experimenting with this new mega trend, enterprises often overlook the minute details of a BYOD user policy or unknowingly adopt wrong practices.

This results into lesser productivity, increased cost and discontented employees – increasing more pressure on the IT department. Here are the top five common mistakes enterprises make in their BYOD strategy that can be avoided.

Mistake no. 1: Ignoring apps

In the age of mobility, enterprise apps play a significant role. However when deployed haphazardly, apps can pose major challenges to the enterprise. It is a mistake to assume that all apps are secured in the enterprise environment. Some may include malicious components designed to bring in viruses or rob your critical data. Apps must be managed with the aim of securing the business. Even with seemingly harmless apps such as “Angry Birds”, employee efficiency can get hamper. Smart CIOs therefore take control of exploding app problem before it gets out of hand. For example, certain apps that reside on employee-owned phones such as blacklisted apps or gaming apps should be blocked from use at the workplace. Ralph Simon, CEO and founder, Mobilium Global believes besides using MDM solutions to monitor BYOD apps as well as apps on corporate-owned mobile devices, enterprises can build private enterprise app stores and develop custom apps for greater productivity. “It’s important that they’re not taking a hard-hitting approach, but find the middle path,” says he.

Mistake no. 2: Ignoring usage tracking

Companies often make the mistake of not tracking calls, text, data and roaming usage. This often results in outrageous roaming charges, personal call charges and so on. It makes sense that companies monitor and find out when an employee would reach a usage threshold that will impose an increased cost on the business. For example, if an employee is offered reimbursement for using his phone when traveling, the company should be able to monitor and control the use of expensive roaming services.

Mistake no. 3: No passwords control

These days, every smart device offers password protection capabilities, but many companies tend to oversee the passwords, leaving it in the hand of the users who obviously opt out of password controls. “CIOs should leverage device management platforms that can determine appropriate levels of password complexity, support monitoring of the passwords lifecycle, and prompt users to regularly change them at intervals specified by the company,” says Anil Pochiraju, MD - India & SAARC F5 Networks stating that mobile device management (MDM) solutions support remote clearing of passwords, without wiping the entire contents of the device.

Mistake no. 4: Allowing rogue mobile devices

BYOD allows employees to select their own devices so as to make them more familiar and productive with the technology. However, smartphones and tablet that are jail-broken and rogue are certainly not allowed. often times, the CIO does not pay heed to these aspects this not only exposes company data but also makes it vulnerable to malware and virus attacks. It is ideal to support the popular consumer devices coming from Apple and Samsung and then evaluate the rest. “Moreover, even the best devices will fail without monitoring real-time behaviors and CIOs should block inappropriate usage of the devices that have access to company assets and information,” says Simon.

Mistake no 5: No communication between IT and employees

Perhaps the biggest mistake in a BYOD practice is ignoring your employees. According to Kumar R Parakala, Head of Management Consulting - IT Advisory, KPMG in EMA, there’s often a disconnect between IT department and the employees as a result of which, employees are not aware what comprises the BYOD policy and the CIO is helpless communicating these protocols unless directed by the board. Employees need to know what needs to be monitored. Which apps, devices and operating systems are allowed, privacy protocols, what to do with lost devices and the consequences for non-compliance are important criteria companies should evaluate. Parakala believes no BYOD program therefore can be a success if employees are not communicated the policies and expectations.