Understanding the common pitfalls of BYOD

An estimated 72 percent of modern enterprises now maintain bring-your-own-device policies or plan to within the near future, according to data from Tech Pro Research. This high adoption rate makes complete sense considering the myriad benefits that can come along with an effectively implemented BYOD strategy. Of course, putting in place one of these policies is easier said than done, as many organizations come to understand. The process is riddled with pitfalls that can catalyze complete failure.

With this in mind, prospective adopters should gain an understanding of the roadblocks that can materialize during BYOD implementation and develop the appropriate preemptive strategies needed to address them. Here are some of the most common pitfalls facing BYOD adopters:

Applying corporate IT policies to personal devices
Businesses making the transition from traditional corporate device strategies to the BYOD model often search ways to maintain as much control as possible. Giving employees free reign over workplace device usage is scary. Leaving some classic controls in place seems like an effective compromise. Unfortunately, this methodology rarely yields good results, according to TechTarget. Why? Corporate and BYOD devices are not the same. When they are treated as such, major issues develop.

For example, many organizations pursuing this workaround attempt to institute remote location or wiping policies which cause privacy issues when applied to BYOD fixtures. Device usage is another common trouble area for adopters attempting to keep older corporate device policies intact, according to TechRepublic. Information technology teams cannot police usage or enforce operating system requirements as they did with company-owned devices, for doing so would negatively impact the effectiveness of the BYOD strategy.

Lending too much application leeway
While maintaining too much control over devices can stomp out the efficiency gains that come along with the BYOD approach, rolling out overly lax policies can create serious security issues that can seriously damage the organization, CIO reported. Application usage is the most significant variable when it comes to BYOD security. Hackers and other cybercriminals develop nefarious software that resembles common consumer applications but actually delivers viruses that can infiltrate internal corporate networks and lay the groundwork for denial-of-service attacks or data breaches. For this reason, it is important for BYOD adopters to address application usage and distribute best practices to employees so as to keep enterprise servers safe.

"An estimated 72 percent of modern enterprises now maintain BYOD policies."

Some businesses are taking things a step further and leveraging external developers to create in-house mobile products so that users do not have to explore the online application marketplace and risk downloading harmful programs on to their devices. In either case, IT departments should avoid taking hard-line stances and try to find solutions that benefit both the business and employees.

Focusing on the latest and greatest devices
Most enterprises adopt BYOD programs with the intention of not only bolstering productivity but also infusing the business with top-of-the-line technology. Indeed, going live with a new corporate mobile strategy is a good time to replace outdated devices with newer, faster models. However, some adopters place too much focus on this aspect of BYOD adoption and attempt to craft policies tailored to the most popular devices and operating systems available, according to TechTarget. Unfortunately, this strategy often backfires. Why? It is simple: technology changes to quickly.

The devices at the top of the sales charts now are likely to lose ground in the near future, as technology companies release newer models with better features. The same goes for operating systems, which are continually modified or scrapped in favor of more robust alternatives. Organizations embracing BYOD should instead focus on crafting flexible policies that make it easy for employees to adopt new technology whenever they feel the urge to do so. This sustainable approach leads to success and reduces the long-term burden on internal IT teams.

Leaving users up to their own devices
One of the main advantages of a BYOD strategy is the freedom it allows. Employees can use whatever devices they choose, leveraging familiar technology to boost productivity. Of course, businesses also achieve new freedom, untethering themselves from antiquated corporate mobile programs and the high overhead that comes with them. However, unchecked freedom is never a good thing, especially where BYOD device usage is concerned. Organizations that fail to keep tabs on users often end up dealing with immense data security issues or overspending, according to CIO.

Of course, prospective adopters can avoid this by establishing monitoring programs. Numerous vendors offer mobile management suites that make it easy for IT staffers to look into how employees are using their devices and service plans, and recommend corrective action based on their findings. That said, taking an NSA-style approach can backfire and damage company culture. Again, it is all about striking a balance between safety and freedom when designing, deploying and managing BYOD strategies.

In addition to putting together effective BYOD policies, adopters should review their existing IT infrastructure and see if it can handle the technical burden of an effective BYOD program. Organizations that cannot should consider embarking on IT modernization prior to upgrading their mobile policies. The Inventu Corporation can offer assistance in this area. Our innovative Flynet Viewer simplifies screen integration, easing the IT modernization process while meeting employer and staff expectations in a way that feels both familiar and simple. Review our product page to learn more about the Inventu Flynet Viewer and the other solutions in our extensive portfolio.