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Updated: August 4, 2013 17:22 IST

Keeping it simple is key to ensuring success of BYOD policies

Parag Arora
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Parag Arora.
Special Arrangement Parag Arora.

Driven by the consumerisation of IT, user-owned devices are increasingly used for business purposes, forcing significant changes in organisations. It is therefore imperative that organisations embrace bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies. A more technologically sophisticated workforce demands greater flexibility in how, when and where they can access business applications, data and information needed to get the job done. With the ability to use their own device, people can be more productive at any time and from any place on their preferred smartphone, tablet or notebook. This, however, can cause concerns for the IT team owing to a number of misconceptions around the complexities of allowing user-owned devices to connect to the corporate network. Here, we assess the key elements to consider when implementing a formal BYOD policy.

Don’t make BYOD complicated

Properly engaging stakeholders and understanding best practices should be the starting point for any BYOD programme. The Citrix Workplace of the Future Report, an independent survey of 1,900 senior IT decision-makers around the globe, found that on an average, IT, C-level executives and HR are the most commonly involved groups in the development of a formal BYOD policy.

Prepare

Right from the start, it’s imperative that all stakeholders agree on the key criteria for a successful BYOD policy. Without considering the fundamentals of eligibility, devices, apps and data, support, legal and financial issues, it is difficult, if not impossible, to implement a comprehensive policy.

Now make it happen

Organisations can easily leverage existing IT infrastructure as well as implement software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps to support the secure and efficient rollout of a BYOD policy. Done right, this will maintain data privacy and ensure the security of sensitive business information while remaining compliant. The IT team also no longer needs to focus on device provisioning and maintenance. It can instead focus on offering secure services, secure access to virtual desktops and apps, and cloud-based services. Naturally, people will also take better care of their own devices and have a better understanding of its full capabilities. Not only does this reduce the reliance on IT support, it enables organisations to set and achieve cost saving targets, including reducing device procurement costs and support expenses.

In Citrix’s own BYOD programme, over half the employees report that their productivity has improved, while the organisation has achieved an annual 18 to 20 per cent operational cost savings.

Being the tortoise

By keeping the approach to BYOD simple and secure, common misconceptions should be dispelled and barriers to implementing best practice policies removed.

(The author is Director Sales - Enterprise and Public Sector-India Subcontinent, Citrix)

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