Tailoring a BYOD policy to fit your small business

Nov 26, 2013

2013-11-26 Mobile Productivity.jpgA bring-your-own-device policy can have a number of benefits for organizations of any size. Such practices offer improved collaboration through increased mobile data access, as well as enhanced communication as users are always connected.

Although small businesses may have fewer endpoints in their BYOD policies than do large corporations, there are still many issues that must be overcome to foster a successful practice. Furthermore, users now utilize an array of mobile devices, including smartphones, tablets and laptops, meaning each employee may use more than one device as part of the policy. In this way, small businesses must think big when it comes to their BYOD practice.

Examine a template
Experts recommended that small businesses looking to implement a mobile device procedure examine the practices of other organizations. Whether through a partner, client or other company, administrators should seek to examine policies already utilized by businesses and determine what works well in the those instances, as well as where they can improved. TechRepublic stated that this should be the starting point for the creation of a customized policy.

TechRepublic also suggested viewing a template, which are readily available from a variety of organizations. One such template includes several considerations as part of a BYOD policy, including acceptable use, security, risks and disclaimers.

For example, the template shows the company limits the use of mobile devices to access certain websites during work hours, as well as applications which are allowed. Additionally, the policy shows what devices are supported by the program, as well as guidelines for reimbursement on technology. Companies utilizing the template can customize it to their preferences, and pinpoint items to include and which do not fit their requirements.

This particular template also limits the use of devices pertaining to data storage or the transmission of data in certain situations. This should be a main focal point of a BYOD policy, as securing mobile data access and file sharing could be the difference between a smoothly operating business and one experiencing a debilitating data breach. A BYOD policy should be very specific when it comes to acceptable and best practices for mobile file sharing. The company needs to consider the internal security software in place and how the policy will coincide with this technology, as well as additional measures that will be put in place specifically for the policy. These aspects can include password protections and data encryption for mobile file sharing, as well as a list of approved end users who are allowed to store or receive the data.

After selecting a template and customizing it to fit the needs of the organization, administrators and C-level executives should make sure employees fully understand the practice. According to a recent Ipsos report, only 23 percent of employees in the U.S. knew the details of their workplace BYOD practice. Small businesses are at an advantage here, as they have less individuals with which to communicate the policy to. Smaller organizations can hold a company wide BYOD meeting, or separate meetings for company sectors as they see fit. This way, everyone within the business is on the same page when it comes to acceptable uses and practices.