Managing Mobile Device Use and BYOD in the Field
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
As companies are investing in innovations to better their business processes, smartphones and tablets are changing the way field employees are communicating with the office and completing projects. These new procedures have a significant impact on responsiveness and productivity as mobile devices become more prevalent on the jobsite. If you are instituting a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, there is a significant risk if left unmanaged. But, once plans are in place, your business can benefit from the power and profitability of enterprise mobility.
Know the risks
If you are allowing your employees to use their own devices, there is a danger without clear company policies and procedures. It is a very real risk that employees can unknowingly bring security risks into the workplace with their own mobile device. It is essential that you train employees in these procedures and implement a set of prescribed and acceptable apps to use to avoid the introduction of new apps that can bring confusion across the projects. But once clear BYOD policies are set up, you will be positioned to implement new mobile solutions that will grow your business.
Lay ground rules immediately
When allowing employees to BYOD, set out immediate and practical rules for everyone. For example, limit the platforms and apps that can be used on site and communicate the need for mobile password protection. Let all employees know that you will be distributing a BYOD policy and will require a signature of acceptance.
Survey your employees on how they use their mobile devices at home and at work to understand their capabilities. Find out how they would like to remotely access information and discuss potential security dists. Based on these discussions, create your policies for BYOD security.
Find the customizable mobile apps that will help your employees best complete their projects. You will want the best and easiest applications for company-wide buy-in and understanding.
When looking for the right platform, discuss security with the provider. Make sure the security options will protect your company and you employees. Select an application that has password protected and secure cloud-based storage that is only accessible to those with permissions. Find out if data encryption is available if you think it is necessary.
Communicate policies and train your employees
Once you have your solution and have collected feedback from employees on all levels, develop your policy and clearly communicate expectations to all employees. Clarify who is eligible to use mobile devices and train those who will be using the new solutions thoroughly to prevent confusion. Don’t forget to explain expense reimbursement policies required for employees using their own mobile devices. At the end of the trainings and communications, obtain employee signatures.
The best way to deal with a change in policy is to be proactive. Inform your employees about why you are implementing these new procedures and how you see the strategy rolling out. Encourage employee interaction and look for ways to collect ideas so you can constantly improve on your BYOD and mobile strategies in the field.