The incorporation of mobile applications and adoption of a BYOD (Bring your own Device) policy likely means that organizations will see a notable rise in employee productivity levels. A report from the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association found that the productivity benefit of BYOD will actually reach $11.8 million Australian dollars, or just under $11 million U.S. dollars per year, by 2025. The report found that mobile technology is becoming the most important method of interaction between businesses and customers as well, showing its potential as a reliable revenue generator.
One thing that organizations will need to keep in mind for the future, according to Technology Spectator, is that applications and data will be key to secure moving forward. When employees log onto the business network with a device, such as a smartphone it opens the entire organization up to the a chance of a breach, so IT professional Adrian Noblett wrote on the website that this challenge needs to be taken head-on. While what he calls "BYOD 1.0" was the industry's first attempt at solving problems for these personally owned devices, "BYOD 2.0 can help make the shift into securing these applications instead of keeping focus purely on the device.
"BYOD 2.0 seeks to ensure that the enterprise footprint on a personally owned device is limited to enterprise data and applications and nothing more," he said. "This means that mobile device management is supplanted by mobile application management (MAM), and device-level VPNs are replaced by application-specific VPNs. Employees prefer this approach, because the IT department manages and sees only the enterprise subset of the overall data and applications on the device, leaving the management of the device itself, and of personal data and applications, to the device owner."
IT staff also seem to prefer this approach, as it put more of a focus on apps and data that needs to be secured and managed instead of everything. Application wrapping will also give more flexibility to CIOs and other IT professionals in applying a specific policy to a set of apps instead of regulating everything under one umbrella.
Additional security features can be added to certain apps and data while others may deem that less attention is necessary. This is changing the way BYOD is done across businesses, Noblett said, as combining the functionality with security into a single offering can offer more of a converged way of management instead of having to worry about multiple moving pieces.
Steps to making sure BYOD runs smoothly
Of course, there is more to running a smooth BYOD strategy than simply managing applications. Small Business Trends founder Anita Campbell wrote that there are a few key pieces of information that organizations should keep in mind when looking to form their policy, including:
• Requiring notification from employees who want to use their devices, as there must be a list of or knowledge base of who will be using devices, which they will be using and how they work
• A list of best practices should be adopted to ensure that employees are taking all the proper steps to secure their device and work safely. Issues such as password protection and what to do if a device is stolen can be imperative
• Policies must be written reasonably and enforced so employees know what is and is not acceptable on the organization's mobile network
• Education can be a key, as this will show workers why certain rules are necessary and may help them avoid a trap when working on their devices
"Bottom line: There is a lot you can do to allow employees the freedom and flexibility to use devices they prefer," Campbell wrote. "You don't have to sacrifice protection of your business assets or create an unwieldy logistical situation in doing it."
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