Enterprise mobility comes with the potential to transform a small business and modernize its operational capabilities through the allowance of personal smartphones, tablets and portable computers for work-related functions. Many entrepreneurs have aggressively pursued the BYOD trend, and those that have taken a comprehensive and targeted approach to policy creation and management solution deployments have been largely successful.
However, companies that either try to avoid BYOD altogether, become overly controlling of employee-owned equipment and software or not involved enough in the management process will likely experience myriad issues with respect to productivity, efficiency and security. BYOD policies should walk the line between control and freedom, and businesses should consider leveraging cloud services to streamline the management and enforcement processes for optimal working conditions.
Where to start
Small business owners can use cloud solutions to cover myriad aspects of BYOD, but should always have a clearly defined policy and agile set of management frameworks in place before allowing employees to use their personal devices. Here are some of the more critical initial steps toward a successful cloud-based BYOD program:
- Define objectives: First and foremost, businesses need to have a complete and accurate vision of what they hope to achieve through the launch of BYOD. Whether it is a matter of improving operational flexibility, enabling telecommuting or something entirely different, entrepreneurs need to identify these objectives before making any other decisions.
- Outline device and app boundaries: While every company would likely prefer to support and enable the use of virtually any operating system or app, this is not always the most feasible approach to BYOD. Instead, small business owners will want to dictate which devices and apps are acceptable in accordance with the management capabilities in place. The program can always be expanded, but should only acquire these enhancements when the management team is prepared.
- Classify cloud-based data management: The most beneficial aspect of cloud services when it comes to BYOD is the ability to grant employees authorized access to corporate systems, networks and data from virtually any location. However, to ensure optimal workflow in these environments, businesses will want to revise their cloud-related information governance policies and spread awareness of the changes to employees.
Once these initial steps have been completed, entrepreneurs can get into the more meaty and advanced aspects of enterprise mobility optimization. Cloud services can help enhance flexibility and scalability, enabling more holistic growth of the BYOD program.