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Managing for BYOD – An manager’s challenge

‎09-09-2013 03:00 AM - edited ‎09-07-2015 09:31 PM

How many of you have a BYOD policy?  If you're like the CIOs and IT leaders who I was with last week, about 40 percent of you have a policy for how to handle BYOD. Why so low?  Is the other 60% waiting for BYOD to go away?


Of course, the “Ostrich Methodology” is a way too common approach for dealing with scary IT trends like BYOD, but it's far from ideal. If you operate this way you'll get what you get, and you probably won't like the results. Let’s take look at the trends related to personal devices in the work place, to show you why you can’t keep your head in the sand:


Over 60 percent of workers currently use their mobile device at work—and the number only growing.  It's time that you deal with the BYOD problem.

 BYOD for Managers.png


Remember Mike's Almost Famous BYOD Recipe? He recommended a small measure of policy. “Write a clear and concise security policy coupled with a governance policy that is distributed to both your internal developers and your end consumers. Be sure to tailor these policies to taste and add the little bit of sugar when sending out to the end users.”


It makes sense. Too much policy, and you will end up with an unworkable and soon to be outdated set of rigid rules and guidelines. If you don’t have enough policy, it's like you don’t have one at all. This is where you have to be like Goldilocks and find the right balance—a solid middle ground that provides guidance and structure, without squashing innovation.


Here's a summary of our BYOD policy...


The BYOD program is voluntary.


The use of BYOD devices shall not create hazards (i.e. use while driving, etc)



The BYOD user is responsible for all costs.


The BYOD user allows the company to monitor &access the data on their device, and the user agrees to protect and retain company data in accordance with other policies.



The BYOD user must only use properly licensed software.


Intellectual Property

All company information on the device is the property of the company.       



The BYOD participant must immediately report loss, theft or suspected malware infection



The BYOD user must install designated security SW and comply with policy settings on their device (i.e. pins, encryption, etc.)   If the device is lost, the company has the right to remotely wipe the device.  The devices shall not be jail broken.


As you can see, we're embracing BYOD and have very real expectations about what users will need to do to participate in the program.  It is important to be clear to your BYOD users about how they can access to data and systems, and that they must be prepared to protect the data and information.


Having a BYOD policy is one key step in embracing BYOD.  But, that’s only the starting point.  Once you have a policy, you now have to implement it with tools and processes… otherwise, all you have is an empty policy.


I would love to hear your thoughts on BYOD policy. Does your organization have one? If there is a policy in place, how well does it work? Do employees listen or do they ignore it. Feel free to reach out to me in the comments section below.


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