I just returned to MOBI HQ after another year at the AOTMP Conference in Orlando, FL. During the AOTMP 2013 Conference best practices in the mobile and wireline telecom industry were shared with Telecom Managers from some of the nation’s most notable companies.
Tim Colwell, SVP of Global Business Analytics at AOTMP, hit BYOD head on when he outlined some of the “rabbit holes” associated with migrating to this type of program. In summary, the following questions and thoughts should be considered when thinking of implementing a BYOD program.
11 Mobile BYOD Considerations from AOTMP 2013
1. Is migrating to BYOD truly going to be cheaper than what we are doing today?
2. Do I have consensus from every moving part within my organization to push toward BYOD?
3. Are the accounting, security, legal, and IT help desk departments on board?
4. Have I considered every possible scenario of who will be on the BYOD eligibility list?
5. Are International and domestic travel, corporate vs. field employees, support position staff, on call staff, customer vs. internal facing employees, etc. eligible for BYOD?
6. Have I considered all expenses that will be included?
7. Are stipend, device cost, security, and support on your radar?
“Eye of the Tiger.”
We know this as the song that pumps us up as we watch Rocky Balboa train to beat up his opponents. Just the mention of the song and it’s running through your head, inspiring uppercut punches and a sudden urge to run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
I recently attended the MobileCON conference. Here I heard more enterprises going back and forth about to BYOD, MDM, or Managed Services or not. Over the past 4 years, I’ve seen the process of talking about the need for change in mobile solutions. Committees are established to come up with some ideas. Then committees of the committees are formed to discuss the problem but many times a decision is never made. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for committees, but often times, the group cannot come to a consensus or as is more often the case, there is fear of making a wrong decision (and understandably so). Sometimes it is decided that no decision is the safe choice.
Mobility is growing – RAPIDLY – resulting in the extreme need for a solution, before extreme circumstances occur like lawsuits or before another million dollars is wasted on unneeded devices and plans.
Searching for a solution and talking to vendors can occasionally lead to even more confusion and too many choices. Let’s break this down:
I’ve been with MOBI for over three years and I’ve been excited to watch us quadruple in size, all while keeping our super fun and creative culture and striving to craft ideas and solutions for enterprise cell phones and tablets. I work with a relentlessly hard working team that remains utterly committed to our customers. Great job, team!
On behalf of telecom managers everywhere, I would like to send out a plea to support their wireless management efforts. Many times, these folks have to work while on vacation because they are the only member of the organization who knows how to make sure telecom requests are followed through. They tend to work longer hours than most, are extreme multi-taskers and are often empathetic to meeting telecom needs. Please keep them in mind when a user asks for the latest unapproved iPhone or for their tablet to gain access to the company network, even though it’s against company policy and you are tempted to override the policy. Give them a hand for the good work they do and the biggest help that can be sent their way is to support their efforts to keep the company in business by doing their part to keep cost low.
Deploying any device into a company’s wireless environment requires careful thought and consideration. Two major components to address are security and device support.
The tablet trend is still evolving but it’s clear that tablets require more attention than your basic wireless devices in business. Recent stats from my company, MOBI wireless management, reveal that while less than 5% of managed devices are tablets, 20% of help-desk calls are tablet-related. Deploying tablets can and will require more time and management than your average device.
Tablet security & data control
Security issues are at the forefront of the tablet movement. Why? These devices are also used in personal ways–downloading and listening to music, storing pictures, web surfing, etc.
Recently, I attened Enterprise Connect, Communications Transforming Business in Orlando, FL where I enjoyed meeting folks in the IT industry and seeing the latest in technology from Avaya, Cisco, Airwatch, the major wireless carriers and more.
BYOD (or Bring Your Own Device) was once again the biggest topic on everyone’s agenda, thus prompting me to once again touch on this ever growing trend. The following information is courtesy of the event’s expert panel, excerpts from some of the conversations I had with individuals on the ground floor, and our experience helping customers evaluate a BYOD transition here at MOBI.
More than 12 thoughts on BYOD best practices:
- Limit device choice – for instance, perhaps only allow iPhones to be brought in as BYOD. Choosing a more secured offering could ease some security concerns and reduced end user complaints about not getting to bring their own devices (sometimes one option is better than no option).
- One of the only ways to actually reduce cost if going to BYOD is to either not provide a stipend or to allow a stipend that is less than what a bulk negotiated carrier contract would provide.
- Policy should be decided upon and enforced in the specific scenario of an employee with a BYOD device who goes overseas using a domestic data plan, performs work for the company on that device and then racks up high usage and fees. Does the company pay for that expensive use or does the individual?
- Companies should define protocols for what to do if the company offers a stipend for the device (hardware), end users use their devices for company use and they lose or break their device. Does the company pay for a new device? Provide a stipend for replacement? Offer a cheaper device as a replacement if the original device was say, an iPhone?
- Zero support policy doesn’t work. In other words, if a company wants to go BYOD, don’t expect IT to be off the hook for providing support.
- Before going BYOD, the decision maker should bring in all departments to help make the decision and finalize the details – finance, IT, HR, supply chain, security, etc.
- Obviously, one thing we hear a lot is that the decision should be made as to who owns the phone number. A recommended policy is for end users to sign a policy stating if their IL phone is connected to company network and data that if that employee leaves the company, they turn their phone number over to the company.
- Choose who should have a device, then which applications.
- The most underemphasized practice is to establish policy, make it clear and follow through. This must be done in order to ensure BYOD best practices.
- If a company uses an MDM security product, a policy should be created to state the company reserves the right to wipe the device of any and all content at any time (and yes, this can include baby pictures).
- A security risk to take into consideration when migrating to BYOD is any iCloud type of service where at this time (at least, until this technology is made more secure), even if a company wipes the device, the employee can still get the information from the cloud.
- Something to consider about not offering help desk to BYOD users: if no support is offered by IT, end users will often go to online forums for help. A lot of times they’re getting wrong information about how to fix the device or to modify settings that they shouldn’t change. In addition, there are some pretty intelligent people on these forums who offer advice on how to bypass MDM security applications, how to jailbreak, etc.
- A spokesperson from the Enterprise Mobility Forum says that a good practice for companies is to use the COPE method for BYOD – Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled program. According to this article this method would look like the following: “The device (and the corporate data that resides on it) is fully managed and controlled, but also allows for employees to install the apps they like for their personal use.”
- An interesting factoid: In France, Germany, South Korea and Italy, if a company or individual wipes a device that they don’t own (such as a company wiping an IL device), they can go to jail because it’s illegal.
What BYOD questions do you have? Please leave them in the comments below and we’ll be happy to address them no matter the complexity.
I will admit – I’m a huge Dr. Pepper fan. And I tend to gravitate toward those who also love the only drink packed with 23 delicious flavors. According to Wikipedia, “The U.S. Patent Office recognizes December 1, 1885 as the first time Dr Pepper was served. It was introduced nationally in the United States at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition as a new kind of soda pop, made with 23 flavors.” I’ll also raise my Dr. Pepper for a toast to the Louisiana Purchase – and to the always exciting New Orleans where I am finishing up my stay here for another very informative National Association of State Technology Directors conference.