“Bring your own device” defined, plus more background to help you

BYOD is an IT policy where employees are allowed or encouraged to use their personal mobile device such as phones, tablets, and laptops to access enterprise data and systems. There are four basic options, which allow:

  1. Unlimited access for personal devices.
  2. Access only to non-sensitive systems and data.
  3. Access, but with IT control over personal devices, apps and stored data.
  4. Access, while preventing local storage of data on personal devices.

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Here are three key benefits to bring your own device

Increased productivity and innovation: Employees are more comfortable with a personal device and become expert using it—making them more productive.  Personal devices tend to be more cutting-edge, so your enterprise benefits from the latest features.

Employee satisfaction:  Your people use the devices they have chosen and invested in—rather than what was selected by IT. 83 percent of users consider their mobile device more important than their morning cup of coffee. Allowing employees to use personal devices enables them to avoid carrying multiple devices.

Cost savings: BYOD programs sometimes save budget by shifting costs to the user, with employees paying for mobile devices and data services. However, this often results in little to no savings, so do not base your decision primarily on anticipated savings.

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How to BYOD

Here are the four key steps to enjoying the benefits of bring your own device:

Plan: Conduct a cost/benefit analysis while deciding how you will enable mobile and who will have access. Not determining a policy is risky: if you don't, “bring your own phone” will happen without controls. Decide on the depth of access to be allowed to each segment of users: “mobile optional,” “mobile enhanced,” or “mobile primary.” Determine mobile device funding and security policies for each segment, then estimate the total IT system and support needed.

Secure and manage: 71 percent of CEOs and IT managers say that security is their most significant mobile enterprise challenge. Carefully choose which technologies will be used to manage and secure mobile devices. A smartphone containing confidential data can be stolen or lost—putting sensitive information in the wrong hands. Your mobile enterprise system must be flexible enough to control connections to an ever-growing variety of devices.

Communicate your BYOD policy: 39 percent of organizations have already had a data breach due to an employee's or contractor’s lost or stolen mobile device. Do your people understand the risks? Communicate which data may be accessed and which devices are appropriate. Make rules clear to employees up-front—what they may or may not do—and provide lessons on how to comply and get the most out of their access.

Support: Guaranteed, there will be many more calls to your Help Desk concerning a wide variety of devices, and the answers will take longer to find. This is where you need to invest up-front to gain the long-term benefit of granting your employees access through personal devices

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What is BYOD? How enterprises can support this mobile trend.

If you find yourself asking, “What is BYOD?” you’re likely already playing catch-up with your workforce. The fact is that many of your employees have probably adopted the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) model and are using their personal devices for work purposes. 

Why IBM for BYOD

Only IBM has market-leading software and services that address the needs of organizations looking to implement BYOD programs. Learn more about why IBM has been named a leader for Enterprise Mobility Management software and Managed Mobility Services.

Hand off the headaches of keeping up with BYOD, security, and routine management

IBM a leader again in the 2017 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Mobility Management Suites 

IBM a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant Report for Managed Mobility Services (MMS) 

Learn more about IBM Mobile solutions