BYOD is a popular business trend where employees are bringing their personal devices to work, and using them to be more productive. There are many benefits to BYOD, but it's not without risks to company security. A good compromise that keeps employees productive and networks secure is Select Your Own Device (SYOD).
SYOD works by having businesses purchase the devices for their employees. Obviously, SYOD will cost more money than BYOD, but for companies that place a high value on network security, SYOD will be worth the extra expense. In the end, employees will be happy that they get to use a mobile device, and they will appreciate not having to pay for it. You will see the increased productivity that comes with BYOD, while having employees do their work on devices that you manage.
SYOD doesn't have to mean that employees are forced to use bargain bin devices and be embarrassed by them when they go out with their friends. It would be in your best interest to pick a few of the latest and most popular devices, and then have your employees select whichever device they prefer. You can even do a poll to find out which devices your employees would be most excited about using. This way, your employees will still feel like their device somehow reflects their individuality, while making it easier for your security solution to support a few models of devices, instead of a few dozen.
Both employees and employers may be concerned about privacy issues. This problem can be resolved by partitioning the devices so that employees have their area for personal activity, and employers have a known area for business tasks. Since you are technically the owner of the device, you would be able to make sure this partition is set up upon distribution. It's much tougher to enforce this partition with BYOD because businesses do not own the device, and employees may feel threatened by the idea of IT messing with a device they paid good money for; and let's not forget about the drama of, "You messed up my phone!"
One of the biggest advantages to SYOD is when it comes time to let an employee go. With BYOD, an employee can walk out the door with sensitive company information stored on their device, with SYOD, they will simply turn the device over to you. You will then be able to clear out their personal information and pass on the device to their replacement. SYOD is a great solution to the problem of fired employees stealing company data, and then using that data to negotiate a better job.
SYOD is an attractive solution that gives employees great mobile capabilities like taking advantage of cloud services and accessing the company network from anywhere. Employees will be empowered and feel like the device is their own, and managing network security will be much easier. Whether you go with BYOD or SYOD, SMART Services can help to prepare your business for the security challenges that come with each model. We can help prepare your IT infrastructure for the demands of mobile devices, share with you best practices and policies, and even help you pick out the best mobile devices for your needs. Call us at 586 258-0650 to learn more