BYOD FAQ: Answers to IT’s burning questions about BYOD

There’s no one way to handle BYOD, but this BYOD FAQ can help IT pros find the right path when it comes to application control, app delivery and BYOD policy.

The BYOD movement has taken hold, and it looks like it’s here to stay.

Employees want to use their personal devices to work more efficiently and effectively, but for IT, it’s more complicated than just setting up email access on a smartphone. The bring your own device (BYOD) phenomenon creates tough challenges for admins.

If you’re wondering how you can securely manage a BYOD program and deliver enterprise apps to personal devices, then you’ve come to the right BYOD FAQ. Take a look at the answers to these frequently asked questions about BYOD, and you’ll learn how to implement and enforce policies that will improve the success of BYOD in your organization.

How can I control apps on BYOD devices?

The best way IT can control apps on BYOD devices is to have an acceptable use policy in place. Since BYOD adoption has picked up, IT pros have less control over the apps employees use. A policy that lays out expectations and consequences for users can improve the success of your BYOD initiative. Mobile device management (MDM) systems also offer application controls through their blacklisting and whitelisting features. In addition, those with auto-quarantine or remote wipe capabilities also help in the event that a user installs non-compliant apps on his or her device.

How can my organization create a BYOD policy?

Every organization’s BYOD policy is a little different, because policies are most effective when they’re organization-specific. The most important thing you can do is create a policy as soon as you decide to allow users to bring their own devices to work. The basic points of good BYOD programs address the same things: how users should protect devices, what they can and can’t access and what will happen if and when they leave the company.

A strong BYOD policy should also consider device selection, reimbursement, MDM, device security and mobile application security. Also think about how you’ll enforce BYOD policy once it’s in place.

What mobile app delivery options does my department have?

There are four good mobile app delivery approaches, but each has pitfalls.

More BYOD FAQS

Using desktop virtualization for BYOD security and management

Enterprise app stores give IT licensing and compliance control and let users download pre-approved mobile applications, but they require a lot of maintenance and resources. Web apps are compatible with different devices and don’t need a distribution system, but without an Internet connection, they aren’t practical. Cloud file-sharing services are good for app delivery, since most employees are already familiar with services such as Dropbox. If you chose the cloud option, you’ll have to use or develop cloud-based mobile apps or pay for cloud storage services. And mobile desktop virtualization lets users connect to a PC environment and stores all sensitive data on servers instead of devices. But for desktop virtualization on mobile devices to work, users need a reasonably large screen and a reliable Internet connection.

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This was first published in April 2012

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