By Ann Newman
At a glance, personal devices don't seem all that different from other computing tools. They both have operating systems , run applications, connect to the internet etc. etc. But they are different …
People form deep emotional bonds with their personal devices. They love their smartphones and tablets. In a recent survey, 20 percent of respondents said they would rather lose their wallets than their smartphones. No one wants to leave home — or go to work — without them.
BYOD is in the building
Nearly half of the workers around the world have expressed the desire to use their smartphones and tablets at work. And many already use them to gain access to the corporate network without expressed permission. But if you tried to buck this trend, you’d probably have to pry the devices from your employees’ cold clenched hands.
Research shows a strong correlation between employee satisfaction and employee productivity. According to Forrester, 75 percent of enterprises report that widespread use of mobile applications has led to increased business results. Clearly, BYOD offers new ways to get things done.
So, why not claim victory by embracing personal devices in your enterprise?
You just need the right framework to ensure your success. And that means more than just protecting the data on the device ― though that’s a big chunk. To get the best results from BYOD ― a more productive, collaborative work environment, employee choice and satisfied top talent ― you need to enable it with the right tools and policies, security solutions, mobile applications and IT underpinning.
Dell walks the talk
At Dell, over 15,000 employees use their iOS®-, Android™- and Windows®-based devices at work, worldwide. The company is thriving because the BYOD strategy is built on a solid foundation of mobile device management, application modernization and end-to-end security and networking IT.
You can ♥ BYOD too if you take the right approach:
- Ask, “What does my workforce need to accomplish?”
- Make sure you have an app for that. Assess and build your application stack. You can’t secure your data until you know what your application stack looks like. You’re mobile applications will need to support encryption from the device, over the network to the data center and back again.
- Keep business and employee data separate from the beginning. Put business data in a secure container on the device.
- Create policies that enable you to determine who is on the network and what they are trying to do
- Don't force your workforce to drink from a fire hose with a paper straw. Ensure that your employees have the bandwidth and network IT they need to support any time, any place access.
- Consider a cloud-based data management system to ensure users can work with their data and documents when and where they need to.
You stand to gain
People are devoted to their personal devices. They want to use them to stay connected and work more efficiently – many of them already do. You can support them by laying the right foundation ― match your strategy to workforce needs/behaviors and then proactively put the right technologies/controls in place. Dell can help you create a BYOD strategy that doesn’t sacrifice corporate property or IT controls for personal device access.
Ann Newman is a technology writer, blogger and editor for Digital Online Marketing at Dell with specialties in BYOD, desktop virtualization, Windows 8 and other high-technology topics. Follow Ann on Twitter at @DellWebWoman.