Do You Need a BYOD Policy If You Use Mobile Device Management Software?
There was a time when employees resented being asked to provide their own equipment to do their jobs. If an employer needed an employee to be productive and reachable offsite, the employer provided a laptop and a pager.
Those days are history. Employees today expect to be able to work from home, an airport, or a coffee shop, and they want to use their own devices rather than carry two of everything.
As a result, companies have had to open their networks, applications, and data to devices they don’t own or control. In order to address the security and liability issues, some companies publish BYOD policies that define the rights and responsibilities of the employee and the employer. Other companies turn to mobile device management (MDM) and other software to gain control over the device.
Software for Corporate Control Over Employees’ Devices
Enterprise mobility management, mobile device management, and mobile application management software allow companies to remotely control the devices employees use to connect to the corporate network. Using these products, IT teams are able to authorize devices to connect, deploy applications to the device, enforce security controls such as passwords and encryption, and remotely wipe data if a device is lost.
Policies for Employee Responsibility Over Employees’ Devices
Because of the security companies gain by using MDM software, it may seem less relevant to define a BYOD policy. After all, BYOD policies typically address topics such as security requirements and which apps are allowed, issues which the company can manage through the MDM software.
But even though MDM software gives companies control over user devices, companies should still publish a BYOD policy—and require employees to acknowledge and agree to its terms before allowing that employee to use their own device to access company resources.
First and foremost, this allows the company to obtain the employee’s permission for corporate monitoring of the device and the company’s right to delete data from the device. Second, the BYOD defines the employee’s responsibilities for protecting corporate data on their device, including informing the company if the device is lost or stolen. BYOD policies can also inform employees that BYOD support for all devices is not guaranteed, and if they use an unsupported device they may lose remote access and be required to work on premises. Using a BYOD this way is about managing employee expectations, rather than managing the device itself.
Implementing BYOD Policies and MDM Software
Creating and implementing an effective strategy to support employees who work on their own devices while securing corporate data isn’t easy. Prescient Solutions helps companies define BYOD policies and implement MDM software. Our experienced team provides mobile support services that include helping set up your users, helping set up your email, and helping set up your security so that mobile device usage is easy and safe for both the company and employees. Contact us to discuss your BYOD strategy and learn how our services can handle administering mobility so you can focus on your business.