10 things to consider when implementing a company BYOD / MDM Strategy

More and more companies are embracing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) as part of a Mobile Device Management Strategy (MDM) primarily as a means to save money. The cost savings can be potentially huge but what steps should you consider with regards to implementing an MDM / BYOD Policy ?

We highlight 10 things you should think about below:

1. Do a cost benefit analysis of current company owned devices. Remember to include insurance and accessories. Work out your real savings.

2. Bring Your Own Device does not mean you have to embrace every device ! Set some guidelines. Perhaps you want to limit it to iOS and BlackBerry or iOS and Android or indeed maybe you wish to embrace the top 4. Embracing MDM / BYOD does not mean anarchy rules, set a policy.  Storage Made Easy Cloud Appliance supports MDM/BYOD for BlackBerry, Android, iOS and Windows Phone.

3. As part of your move to an effective MDM /BYOD policy, understand how your employees prefer to work. Are many of your employees mobile ? Field agents ? Sales Reps ? On the move ? Is most of their work conducted in this manner ?

4. Are all your data points accessible over mobile devices ? Are they joined up ?  Is application access supported across all devices ?  Part of what the Storage Made Easy Cloud Appliance does is to unify data sources so they are accessible from one application on a mobile device. This can support data services that perhaps don’t even have access from the chosen mobile device. It also makes it easier to work with data from a single dashboard rather than having to install ‘n’ number of Apps.

5.  Have a secure file sharing policy.  You do not want employees using their devices and sharing data that cannot be audited. Not only does this promote data leak, but for regulated industries it can break compliance laws. The Storage Made Easy Cloud Appliance promotes easy data sharing but it keeps audit logs of all links shared, from the person who shared them to the remote IP address that downloaded the data. It also enables password protections and time expiry on links.

6. Ensure you have control of user access into corporate data. You may not own the user device but you still want to have some measures of protections about how users get access to corporate applications and corporate data. You need to be able to turn access off without compromising the users device. Storage Made Easy addresses this by unifying data access and letting administrators  control access for any user either by device, IP Address or GEO Location.

7.  As part of your MDM User policy mandate  Apps  that promote security, such as anti-virus / malware Apps and App such as Divide which promote the creation of separate identities and user areas for business and personal data. Don’t be shy in having a strict policy. Even though you are implementing an MDM/ BYOD policy you may still need a small selection of devices for users that will not or cannot sign up to the policy.

8. Decide whether you are going to have ‘device wipe’ as part of your policy. This is one of the most contentious areas of MDM /BYOD and if you implement it you will need to include it as part of your policy that users sign up to and ensure they understand the consequences. Note that all devices enable remote wipe. For more information on this please see the ‘remote wipe’ section on the   SME Wiki.

9. Consider your policy for un-authorised Apps being used with corporate data. We have all heard of how DropBox has infiltrated enterprise IT by the back-door and is actually in use in department within companies but without official sanction by IT. Storage Made Easy handles this by enabling DropBox (or other un-sanctioned cloud storage uses) to be audited just as other corporate data, even if the user uses the DropBox service direct.

10. Policy is key. Staff need to fully understand and sign up to the MDM policy being introduced. It should be easy to understand, and easy for the staff to get access to the resources that they need from their Apps. On the company side understandin costs savings, investment needed, and security implications is key. Implementing an MDM / BYOD policy may look attractive but  it requires thought and planning to be successful.

Want to know more on controlling cloud sprawl ? Read our whitepaper.

For more on BYOD, visit the BYOD section on our Wiki.

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