Mastering the BYOD trend: The ultimate guide

Let's face it: The BYOD trend is a big deal.

IT admins have questions about the influx of personal smartphones and tablets in the enterprise. They worry about it. And they often need help figuring out what to do about bring your own device (BYOD) management, security and application delivery.

It takes a combination of technology, policy and organization-wide strategy to maximize the benefits of a BYOD program and minimize the risks. This comprehensive guide explains the basics and offers helpful, in-depth tips for admins stuck at any level of a BYOD program.

Table of contents:

Understanding consumer device management and BYOD

Organizations can't just dive into BYOD without having the proper groundwork in place. You need to understand why BYOD started, where it's going, what the risks are and how to address consumer device management.

With BYOD, it's important to start on the right foot. If you're adopting BYOD simply because you see it as a money-saver, you might be unpleasantly surprised. And if you think BYOD is just about end users, you might find that it's more IT-focused than you realized.

Create and enforce a bring-your-own-device policy

Once the BYOD movement has reached your organization, it's important to set up a bring-your-own-device policy and a mobile device security policy. Users need to know up front what they can and can't do with their devices.

When a bring-your-own-device policy is in place and users know what's expected of them, they also know the consequences for not complying. With an acceptable use policy and a mobile device security policy, IT and upper management can lay out the rules and hold users accountable for their actions.

Data access control, MDM tamp BYOD security risks

No one can blame IT for being concerned about BYOD security risks. There are so many to contend with that it can be hard for admins to know where to start.

Bring your own device (BYOD) security policies, acceptable use policies, data access control, mobile device management (MDM) and even the cloud can help put a stop to some of admins' nail-biting.

BYOD woes: App management, licensing, compliance

Writing policies and dealing with security predicaments are just the start of IT's BYOD troubles: Admins have to find ways to handle a bunch of other difficulties, too. Issues with bandwidth, mobile printing, app management and compliance have been known to rear their heads.

The more prepared IT is to deal with these issues, the more smoothly your bring your own device (BYOD) program can run. Get familiar with the BYOD problems that could be on your horizon.