The use of BYOD (bring your own device) is rapidly expanding. A 2013 ReadWrite survey found that 82% of examined companies allow some or all workers to use personal mobile devices for work purposes.
From the standpoint of a mobile app developer, in order to implement a successful BYOD program, you must find a way to maximize user productivity without sacrificing IT control and security. In a white paper on BYOD, Dell states: “CIOs need to first determine the end objective of implementing the programme and then build it up, so it fits into their larger business and IT strategy.”
Here are three tips to consider when creating a BYOD policy at your workplace:
1. Establish Consistency with Hybrid Mobile Applications
With a BYOD policy, your employees probably use all kinds of phones, including iPhones, Androids, BlackBerry devices, and Windows Phones. That means the mobile apps your company uses—either an internal app or just tools that employees need like Dropbox—must be functional on all platforms.
Each platform is unique and presents different features and capabilities. Developing mobile apps with good user interface designs and that cater to multiple browsers are key when applying a BYOD policy in the workplace.
At Metova, we have a unique hybrid approach to building cross-platform apps. Our mobile apps developers use HTML5 for components that are easier to share across platforms and Native for complex pieces that rely on performance or speed. For example, when Metova and CU Mobile Apps created an application for credit unions, carousels of promotional images were built using a native carousel and HTML5 Web pages were used to present informational content like news articles.
Setting up a support for apps installed on personal devices is also important to maintain employee satisfaction and productivity.
2. Determine a Security Policy for Devices
When personal mobile phones are connected to your corporate systems, you should enforce a strict security plan to ensure that your company’s confidential information is secure at all times. A simple way to do so is to require that all employees set passwords or lock screens on their devices.
If a phone is lost or stolen, do you declare the right to wipe devices brought onto the network? It’s important to make this clear with employees, as they would lose their personal pictures, music and apps. The same goes for when an employee leaves the company. You must set up an exit strategy to disable access to the company’s VPN.
3. Define Acceptable Use
Who owns the device? This is a very important question to consider when adopting a BYOD policy. Not only will it affect who takes care of the payment, but it will also play into what restrictions can be set on acceptable use of the device.
Setting up monitoring tools to ensure employees aren’t browsing objectionable websites while connected to your company’s VPN and identifying what mobile apps are allowed or banned on the device are examples of what you can include in an acceptable use policy.