In the era of enterprise mobility, the bring your own device (BYOD) movement has reached a critical point. Two-thirds1 of the workforce today use smartphones for their job. The fondness for personal devices is due to several reasons–device quality, convenience, or employees simply dislike learning how to use new technology.
BYOD, as a trend, is now an inevitable part of the workforce strategy, and businesses must prepare themselves for its spread across their companies. Allowing employees to use personal devices helps companies boost productivity and achieve net cost savings. Workers can access corporate applications and data at any time, from anywhere, and from any device they choose.
But IT leaders see a major trade-off. Less control over devices means security challenges and increased adoption of Shadow IT. Managing BYOD devices with mobile device management (MDM) helps manage and navigate the complexity of many device types, multiple operating systems, and a plethora of public and enterprise cloud apps used on personal devices at work.
However, MDM solutions come with their own set of challenges. Workers are skeptical about allowing MDM on a personal device. They are concerned that IT administrators can access personal information and control how they use their devices.
But admins without MDM on employee devices won’t be able to help their organization support BYOD initiatives. It’s a cycle that stalls BYOD programs, increasing the risk of exposure to companies. To ensure a BYOD initiative is secure and transparent, this article discusses six things to keep in mind before purchasing an MDM solution.
6 Key Factors Influencing MDM Purchase to Implement BYOD
1. BYOD Policy First, Technology Second
Just like any other IT initiative, the policy must precede technology, including MDM. To effectively use a mobile device management solution for a BYOD program, IT teams will need to frame policies. There are no set processes to create a policy; there are some questions to consider:
- What are the types of mobile devices that will be supported?
- What regulations govern the data that the organization needs to protect?
- What security measures are needed?
- What applications are forbidden?
- What kinds of services can employees access?
- What data is collected from personal devices? What personal data is never collected?
- Is there an Acceptable Usage Agreement (AUA) for employee devices with corporate data?
The policy will help determine how personal devices will be used and how IT can manage those needs.
2. Device Security and Compliance
BYOD programs give employees the freedom to work on their own devices while relieving IT and business from financial and management burdens. However, BYOD cannot deliver on the promises of streamlined device management without ensuring the security and privacy of devices. Consider an MDM solution that can give security posture to all devices. The solution should be able to implement the security demands of the BYOD policies. For example, the MDM should be able to –
- Segregate personal data and corporate data on personal devices by creating logical containers to improve corporate data security.
- Implement a secure password policy for personal devices to lock the work container with a secure password. IT admins can ensure devices adhere to the strict password policy.
- Monitor all devices in real-time and allow only devices whose security posture is up to date to access applications and data to reduce risk.
- Ensure that employees connect to a verified and secure Wi-Fi network.
Security policies are unique to each organization and the MDM should be able to enforce customized policies to reduce the risk of data breaches or prevent unsecured or vulnerable devices from accessing sensitive data.
Keep personal data separate from corporate data. For employees to get along with a BYOD policy, personal information like wedding photos or personal identification numbers should be kept away from IT. Certain privacy laws prevent companies from viewing Personally Identifiable Information (PII). An MDM solution can turn privacy laws into privacy settings to hide location and software information. This helps companies meet PII regulations and alleviates employee concerns.
A BYOD policy is also about securing corporate interests. For example, IT teams need to protect corporate apps, documents, and other information if an employee leaves or if the device goes missing. MDM gives teams the ability to selectively delete corporate apps and wipe work data from the device.
4. IT Administration Time and Resources
The BYOD policy and MDM solution should not bring more people to the IT helpdesk. Physically enrolling a bulk of personal devices can be a tedious and cumbersome process. MDM software that has over-the-air enrollment programs make the device enrollment process effortless. Once users have agreed to the AUA, the MDM platform should automatically deliver device profiles, credentials, and settings the employees need to access, including –
- Corporate documents and content
- VPN and Wi-Fi
- Enterprise and public apps
- Email, contacts, and calendar
Scalefusion MDM supports enrollment solutions such as Android Zero-touch, Apple Device Enrolment Program, and Samsung Knox Mobile Enrollment to configure and roll out large volumes of devices.
5. Data Usage
Although a BYOD policy helps in cost savings and productivity, multinational businesses need to monitor and limit international data roaming, since those can cost thousands of dollars per trip. If companies are not paying for data roaming, companies may want to help employees track their data usage.
An MDM solution should be able to track roaming and home network data usage and generate alerts when employees exceed the data limit. IT should also configure devices to automatically connect to Wi-Fi while in office locations.
6. Audits & Reports
Organizations often need to adhere to strict compliance regulations such as HIPAA, PCI DSS, SOC 2 or ISO 27001. IT needs to ensure personal devices are in compliance. Thus, devices need to be continuously monitored. However, it is not always possible to anticipate employees’ use of personal devices for work therefore, IT may need to add policies and create new rules for personal devices.
IT may need to manually perform periodic checks to ensure managed devices, under traditional MDMs, are compliant. Automating such tasks for compliance requires coding and scripting, which is a hard sell for IT admins. With the right MDM solution, checking for non-compliant devices becomes a self-service function. With Scalefusion, IT can build workflows, automate them, and create alerts to ensure device compliance.
MDM enables productivity and data protection for the way people work on personal devices. Before organizations invest in an MDM solution, keeping the above-mentioned things in mind will help determine the right fit for their BYOD program.
Scalefusion supports BYOD programs for mobile devices across multiple operating systems. It offers real-time monitoring, password policies, and containerization to separate work apps and files. To start a no-cost 14-day trial, click here.