Roll it Out Right! BYOD Policies that Work for SMEs


Rare is the occasion when someone fails to develop an elegant and expensive solution to our IT and business problems. And it’s a good thing because implementing a BYOD policy is rife with problems that need a-solvin’. Companies who are taking the BYOD plunge must create a series of policies, guidelines, and fail-safes to protect data security and integrity while confidential company information courses through the veins of personal devices. With BYOD becoming increasingly popular, and in many ways unavoidable, SMEs would do well to construct their policies with a focus on controlling data rather than the employee or the device.

The ‘Hows’ and ‘Whys’ of BYOD

Dude! Dell has released a BYOD best practice guide to help organizations wrap their heads around implementing policies and practices. This straight forward document encourages companies to look within their own HR, IT, finance, legal and executive teams to establish best-fit BYOD policies that reflect the company operations and culture.

Another part of the solution lies in seeking expert guidance in the implementation of secure mobile computing solutions like MDM and MAM software. Mobile Device Management (MDM) software supports smart phones, laptops and tablets controlling data and configuration settings. It’s MDM’s job to make sure all BYOD users have pleasant and functional experience while managers are assured of data security. Mobile Application Management (MAM) focuses on encrypting and enforcing controlled access to company apps and is a must have software in any BYOD workplace. This software grants user privileges based on role affecting storage and sharing rights. It also grants companies the power to remove or wipe an app in the event of a breach, lost device or employee departure. A barrier between company and personal apps means employees can play angry birds or whatever without compromising data.

Businesses must also determine what devices and systems they can support including security requirements for hardware, apps and data. A collaborative discussion around risk is also necessary gauging the company’s threshold and tolerance for best to worst case scenarios articulating boundaries around protecting company data and respecting the privacy of users.

Making it Official

Once the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of a BYOD policies are nailed down, it’s time to draft a clear terms of use and comprehensive guideline documents to educate employees. Managers must communicate the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ as well as any expectations around encryption, use of a personal identifiers and privacy. Employees should sign off on the terms of use and receive full training to provide them with the knowledge and understanding required to adhere to BYOD protocols.

SMEs must give careful consideration to the potential impact on clients and employees while safeguarding company info at every step. Supporting a healthy and functional BYOD workplace takes time, planning, energy, and most of all money. But isn’t the growth and survival of your business worth it?