Simple and secure wins the BYOD race

Driven by the consumerisation of IT, user-owned devices are increasingly used for business purposes, forcing significant changes in organisations. Now, more than ever, businesses in South Africa need to consider bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies to empower people to choose the device of their choice and encourage workplace mobility.

Sean Wainer, country manager, Citrix South Africa. (Image: File)

A more technologically sophisticated workforce demands greater flexibility in how, when and where they can access business applications, data and information needed to get the job done.

With the ability to use their own device, people can be more productive at any time and from any place on their preferred smartphone, tablet or notebook. This, however, can cause concerns for the IT team due to a number of misconceptions around the complexities of allowing user-owned devices to connect to the corporate network.

Don’t make BYOD complicated, just be prepared – engage stakeholders and establish best practices

Properly engaging stakeholders and understanding best practices should be the starting point for any BYOD programme. The Citrix Workplace of the Future Report – an independent survey of 1,900 senior IT decision makers around the globe – found that on average, IT, C-level executives and HR are the most commonly involved groups in the development of a formal BYOD policy.

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail – set policies and parameters up front, and be clear about it

Right from the start, it’s imperative that all stakeholder groups – IT, C-Level executives, HR – agree on the key criteria for a successful BYOD policy. Without considering the following fundamentals, it is difficult, if not impossible, to implement a comprehensive policy.

o   Eligibility – who can participate?

o   Devices – what is allowed?

o   Apps and data – what is available?

o   Support – what services are offered?

o   Legal – what are the implications of use?

o   Financial – who owns and pays for what?

Establish the requirements of each stakeholder group participating and tailor your BYOD policy to suit.

Now make it happen – a secure and simple BYOD policy is the most effective

Businesses can easily adapt existing IT infrastructure as well as implement software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps to support the secure and efficient roll-out of a BYOD policy. Done right, this will maintain data privacy and ensure the security of sensitive business information while remaining compliant.

The IT team also no longer needs to focus on device provisioning and maintenance. It can instead focus on offering secure services, secure access to virtual desktops and apps, and cloud based services. Naturally, people will also take better care of their own devices and have a better understanding of its full capabilities. Not only does this reduce the reliance on IT support, it enables organisations to set and achieve cost saving targets including reducing device procurement costs and support expenses.

Workshifting empowers organisations to move work and cut costs by allowing people to choose the ideal time and place for work. Not only does this embrace the employee demand to work anywhere, but ensures business continuity. People can remain at full productivity whenever and wherever.

With a strategic BYOD policy, businesses in South Africa can easily ensure business information is available when and where it is needed, while remaining compliant. With the ability to cut costs and realise full productivity, organisations can now achieve maximum profitability.

Sean Wainer, country manager, Citrix South Africa