How to Create a Cost-Effective BYOD Policy

When it comes to the mobile enterprise, issues related to BYOD are at the forefront. In their recent report, AIIM found that while more companies are developing BYOD policies, there are still those who are putting their systems at risk, resulting in increased costs. But what if BYOD didn’t need to be complicated or expensive?

BYOD Doesn't Have to be So Hard

We spoke with Todd Sanford, chief executive officer of LPS integration, a storage, virtualization, and networking provider in Nashville, Tennessee to learn more about how to create a cost-effective BYOD policy.

Certified as a Citrix Platinum Partner, EMC Signature Partner, Cisco Silver Partner, VMWare Premier Partner, and a Microsoft Managed Gold Partner, among others, LPS works with a variety of industries, from healthcare to government to manufacturing and banking. Sanford says that within these industries, interest in developing a bring your own device workflow is definitely growing, but that thanks to advancements in desktop virtualization, implementing and deploying BYOD strategies isn’t hard as it once was, especially with a partner like LPS at your side.

Here are few key steps you can take to keep BYOD costs down, while making your company more productive. 

Step 1: Work with a Certified Virtualization Partner

Does your company allow employees to access the Network from off-premise? Then chances are you’re using a virtualization platform like Citrix or VMWare and that you enlisted support in setting it up. If so, that partner has probably deployed more BYOD and other business process management workflows than you have. Don’t reinvent the wheel -- leverage your network for resources.

Step 2: Extend Your Concept of Desktop

If you think of BYOD as an extension of your desktop virtualization strategy, it’s not as important to figure out what devices are allowed and which are prohibited. Rather, it allows you to think about setting the right parameters so that the right people can access the network at the right times to make them more productive, while enabling the right security.

Step 3: Keep the Experience the Same

Desktop virtualization gives employees the ability to work seamlessly from any device, as if they were in their office cubicle working from their desktop computer. It also keeps the interface the same, so it’s not about having to redesign or accommodate for screen sizes. This creates a type of universal experience, which not only helps users feel more comfortable, but cuts down on time and money. Additionally, companies can make it so employees and field teams using outdated or legacy systems can still have access to the same network or different versions of business apps, without forcing them to upgrade, which can also save money. 

Only You Can Prevent BYOD Disasters

Of course, there are caveats to each of these. Does it even make sense to have a BYOD strategy? Yahoo learned the hard way that it’s not always easy to un-do working from home policies, so it’s best to think it through first. Is it imperative for employees to collaborate remotely or are the better served by working together, face to face? These are not questions I can answer for you. They depend on company culture and organizational goals.

Additionally, there are security issues to consider. Natural disasters may be few and far between, but if Hurricane Sandy or the recent Oklahoma tornado have taught us anything it’s that a company’s network must be stronger than the four walls that contain it. Being able to access your network virtually, be it from mobile device or laptop may be the only thing keeping your business running in times of distress.

The real cost of BYOD isn’t incurred in the time it takes to set up the right infrastructure and business process -- although doing it right isn’t necessarily cheap. Rather, the high costs of BYOD are likely to come from not being prepared to handle uncomfortable situations, where access to information has been compromised or otherwise put at risk.

Illustration Credit: Shutterstock / IdeaStepConceptStock