“When designing a policy for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), we seek a balance between security, usability, and privacy”


Giving your employees the freedom to bring their own mobile device into the workplace is a common discussion we have with our customers. When designing a policy for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), we seek a balance between security, usability, and privacy. Our experience has shown that successful BYOD programs achieve this balance, while those that miss the mark are rarely adopted by employees.

Here are some considerations we have learned when defining a BYOD policy for a successful implementation.


Create Guidance on Systems Access and Data Security for Personal Devices

If you have personal devices connecting to corporate systems and data, you need to define who has access to those systems and how they will be accessed. You need to make sure this is done in a secure way to reduce risk and ensure the devices accessing this information are compliant.

However, if you don’t provide the correct access and security, there will be poor employee experience, which will result in reduced adoption or outright revolt. Sometimes access needs to be restricted based in certain conditions. It can be challenging to write a policy that covers every situation – it would be too long and too cumbersome to manage and implement.

These types of complexities are best captured in guidelines. Guidelines provide an overview of your policy and they advise on how to act in each situation. Guidelines do not have mandatory actions like a standard operating procedure. Instead, guidelines contain a set of guiding instructions. So, your guidelines are you best friend!

Create clear guidelines for personal devices. Ensure personal devices have the latest operating system updates and patches. Restrict rooted and jailbroken devices. Passcode enforced. Clearly defined responsibilities for initial and on-going costs. Employee is responsible for backing-up of personal information, systems and media.


Provide support and assistance for BYOD users

A key challenge in creating a successful BYOD policy is considering your employees’ experience and ensuring they are properly supported. A guaranteed way to ensure your BYOD program failure is to treat personal devices and their owners as second-class citizens.

You’ll need to clearly define who receives support, how support is delivered and what that support looks like to your employees. Are you going to have a separate tier for executives? What about other high value employees? Are contractors going to be provided support or just full-time staff?

It’s important to provide enough support to ensure your BYOD employees remain connected and their devices are functioning and fit for purpose during their workday to ensure they remain productive.


Respect Employee Privacy in your BYOD program

A balanced BYOD policy needs to provide your employees with reassurance that you always respect their privacy. Setting clear expectations on what is and is not managed is important. Some examples would be location tracking, social media, use of personal apps, photos, messages etc.

There are many ways to achieve this kind of privacy through either mobile device management (MDM) or mobile application management (MAM) and Windows information protection (WIP) controls.

If you find yourself questioning whether to add a restriction, remember that a light-touch goes a long way with your employees.


Determine your BYOD cost sharing model

Set clear guidelines on who is liable for what costs. Does the company offer a corporate plan for your BYOD device or will both the device and plan be the responsibility of the employee? Will the company reimburse the employee for their own plan or provide a stipend? 

If your policy does not set guidelines on who pays for what, the company may end up paying for the loss, repair, value added services (e.g. donations, text voting) etc.

Today, we’re seeing more companies offer BYOD as an option to their employees.  However, an unclear BYOD policy may impact on the overall uptake of the program and affect company culture.

Your key to success when developing and designing your BYOD policy is to be clear. Use guidelines and standard operating procedures to give your employees confidence that all aspects have been considered.



Have more BYOD policy questions?

Mobile Mentor’s BYOD 365 service has more information on how we help our clients create successful, long lasting BYOD programs for their employees.

If you’re not ready to sign up and you just want to ask a few questions, please contact us and we’ll be glad to give you an hour of our time.