Implementing a Win-Win BYOD Strategy
In an effort to increase end-user productivity and satisfaction, organizations are seeking strategies to enable employees to use their own devices in the workplace — safely and securely. Assigning personas to end users to control access to the network and streamline support provides an effective strategy. These personas can then be linked to persona-based portals, customized to each end user, to provide a more consumer-like interface to applications, processes, content, and services.
There was a time when the latest and greatest technology was too expensive to adopt outside of the workplace. That day is long gone. Today, most workers have a far more accessible and engaging experience with technology outside of the office than they do in the workplace. Affordable laptops, smartphones, tablets, wearables, and more give end users an expanse of content and functionality at their fingertips — wherever and whenever they want. It’s an experience that they’re increasingly demanding in the workplace as well.
Tech-savvy workers expect the devices they use for business to offer the same mobility, flexibility, and ease-of-use that they get from their personal devices. In the absence of employer-provided devices that offer this, many employees opt to use their personal devices in their business lives — whether or not their organizations know or explicitly approve. The result is a complex new set of challenges for IT departments charged with coordinating access, providing service, and maintaining security. Traditional IT service models aren’t nimble enough to accommodate Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) users. The sheer number and variety of devices make it incredibly time-consuming for IT to master support for all of them, not to mention securely integrate them into the infrastructure.
At the same time, end users have become accustomed to receiving training, answers, and technical support from dedicated specialists outside the organization who are extremely well-versed in the devices they support. When they can’t get the support they need from in-house IT specialists, end users turn to these responsive experts to answer their questions and solve their problems. The result is little-to-no coordination with corporate policies on access and security — and zero visibility in the C-suite with regard to what specific devices are accessing the organization’s network, to what benefit, and at what cost.
As the BYOD culture has gained traction, many organizations have responded with device-centric policies. Often, these consist of developing a series of customized fixes to accommodate individual devices in specific circumstances. This approach is merely a temporary means to an end and results in higher costs overall. However, the organizations that experience the most success integrating the needs of BYOD workers with those of traditional enterprise technology users have adopted a user-centric approach.