In the summer of 2013, Gartner predicted that within the next four years, half of all offices would be supporting BYOD. While we haven’t reached the end of that time period just yet, it’s safe to say today’s businesses have surpassed Gartner’s projection.
The BYOD Business Strategy Survey found that 62 percent of all companies had already deployed a BYOD plan, or planned to do so by the end of last year, ZDNet stated. The numbers for the amount of BYOD-supporting enterprises have not been tallied up thus far this year, but it’s clear that the majority of organizations allow their staff members to utilize their own smartphones, tablets and laptops for corporate pursuits.
The reasons why this trend has spread so quickly are no secret: David Willis, Gartner vice president and analyst, noted that BYOD advantages include the creation of new opportunities for a mobile workforce, as well as the ability to boost employee satisfaction and reduce operating costs.
“BYOD strategies are the most radical change to the economics and the culture of client computing in business in decades,” Willis said.
However, the success of a BYOD plan depends upon the policies that outline it. While there is no single plan that can address all of a company’s unique needs, there are several aspects that decision-makers should avoid, including some of the following common mistakes:
Not planning for added devices on the network
One of the top issues administrators run into is not planning for the added network stress that results from the influx of employee devices. The typical office has enough network bandwidth to support processes on current systems, including employee workstations and other technology. But throw another 20 or 30 endpoints at the broadband network, and all bets are off. To avoid this, business leaders should plan ahead for added resource needs, and consider increasing bandwidth to ensure that all devices will have the support they need. Adding a WAN failover line couldn’t hurt either, as in the event that one network becomes unavailable, the business will still have resources in place to sustain operations.
Not creating rules governing employee activities
A number of problems can arise when enterprises do not establish a set of guidelines to manage how employees use their BYOD-supported devices. Rogue IT practices can quickly crop up where workers may utilize apps or carry out tasks that their supervisors would not approve of. This can cause a plethora of security issues, and can also threaten the success of the initiative altogether. For this reason, Cisco guest blogger JT Ripton recommends that administrators create guidelines for their staff.
“BYOD can easily offer too much freedom and liberties that that employees simply can’t handle without a bit of control,” Ripton wrote. “When introducing a new BYOD policy, make sure that you create a set of standards for employees to abide by.”
Not providing employee training
Alongside these standards, managers should also seek to train their employees on best practices for BYOD. These sessions can include a range of topics, including tips for using personal mobile devices appropriately and how to best leverage them for work purposes. This will help ensure that staff members are aware of their responsibilities as far as BYOD goes and what the businesses has done to make the plan possible and successful.