What Would Gavin Belson Do? Inspired BYOD

Posted by BusinessForward Team on June 15th, 2016

By Heather Broman, BusinessForward

Leaders want their employees to be as happy and as productive as possible. Today this means inspiring your team with cool work spaces, casual dress and allowing them to feel comfortable at work. But as fans of Silicon Valley know, it only takes one idiot and a misplaced tequila bottle to compromise your entire database.BYOD or Bring Your Own Device

Leave Them to Their Own Devices

Everyone has their way of doing things (tabs or spaces?) and stuff is either physically hanging around or ethereally out there, so when your team uses their own devices, be careful to not to leave them to those devices.

A Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy is no longer a nice-to-have. It’s a necessity.  According to CITRIX, in 2015, over half of the US Workforce (61%) used personal smartphones or tablets for work activities. When employees are “left to their own devices” it’s important to keep the company’s data safe and separated from your employee’s personal files, and teach your employees good device management practices.

Dodge Data Breaches

Despite the growing usage of BYOD in corporations, an Ingram Microadvisor article citing BYOD statistics found that most corporate IT departments NEVER provided instructions in the risks of using personal devices at work.  This is frightening, considering Gartner’s forecast that 75% of data breaches in 2017 will occur through mobile devices, and currently 40% of major crimes involve the theft of cell phone devices with 113 cell phones being lost or stolen every MINUTE in the United States. 1

Just like you wouldn’t give the keys to the 3-Series BMW to a new teen driver without training, there are some lessons that employees must learn before they take the company’s information for a test drive on their mobile device. There are safeguards that you will need to put along the road just in case employees swerve off course. If you don’t, customer data could potentially be breached, resulting in millions of dollars in financial and reputational loss.

Top 5 “Rules of the Road” for BYOD

  1. Create a Company-Wide BYOD Policy: A good BYOD policy outlines the rules that must be adhered to by employees and agreed to before using their personal device for work. This is something that could be included with a new employee’s on-boarding or included with the request for BYOD access. No matter where or when it is implemented, it needs to cover some basic things for the employee to agree to implement, such as having an Anti-Virus Tool installed on their phone and tablet, a device password, and the ability to remotely wipe their phone in case it is lost or stolen, it should also serve as an explanation of what data will and will not be accessible by the company’s IT department and what to do in case the device is lost or stolen. For BYOD Policy templates:
  2. Create Visibility for BYOD & Cyber-Security Best Practices: What good is a policy if no one knows about it or how to put it in to practice? Create posters, training guides, and hold a mandatory cyber-security awareness event for your staff to teach them how to be safe on their devices.
  3. Choose the right BYOD technology for your company: There are many tools that can be used to help put safeguards in place to protect your company’s data from malicious attacks. Some of the top players are Citrix XenMobile, AirWatch, Soti, IBM Maas 360, IronMobile, and Good for Enterprise. To view the Gartner report comparing the top BYOD companies:
  4. Hire, Retain and Train IT Staff for Mobile Device Management: In a soon-to-be-released 2016 CIO survey from BusinessForward and the Pittsburgh Tech Council, it was found that one of the largest concerns for CIO’s was hiring and retaining the right people for the job. Part of having the right talent comes with providing them with the tools they need to be successful. The best training practices by far and wide come from the SANS institute for security. A link to their mobile security course can be found here:
  5. Use the Right Partners to Plan and Execute Your BYOD Framework: Even with in-house expertise, it is always best to work with a partner to make sure your BYOD program is successful. Vendor technology selection, program management, process documentation and training is a great, agnostic move toward integrating smart BYOD into your company’s DNA.

BYOD can be conflicting for IT leaders who want engaged employees but feel a loss of control. It doesn’t have to be like that though. With so many technologies available to safeguard your assets by separating company and personal data, fee free to inspire. Containerization and basic steps can be taken to arm your workforce with the tools to keep themselves and the company safe from prying eyes.

The risks of not having a handle on the mobile devices used to access and store corporate information is clear; and the benefits are clear as well. According to Citrix, there was a reported average time savings of 81 minutes per day (350 hours per year!) per employee using BYOD1.

Embracing BYOD might seem counterintuitive to greater data control. In reality, having a clear, business-focused BYOD program is a step toward protecting your company data while at the same time freeing up your teams to ideate, create and collaborate. I do recommend however, discouraging tequila at work…


1 Citrix. “Don’t let BYOD concerns outweigh the rewards”. 
Ingram Micro Advisor. “23 BYOD Statistics You Should Be Familiar With”.
3 Experian. “BYOD leads to data breaches in the workplace”.


Heather Broman is a Solutions Analyst with BusinessForward. She uses tabs AND spaces. For information about helping your IT organization function in the best possible way with the most engaged team, contact us.



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