In a recent Robert Half study, CIOs were asked,
"Do you allow employees access to your corporate networks via personal laptops, smartphones or tablets?"
Among the CIOs whose firms do allow workers to access the company network using their own equipment, 66 percent said their firms offer limited technical support to these individuals, and 28 percent offer full support. Six percent offer no support.
Wow, 1/3 of respondents say they allow employees to access the organization's network with BYOD while, of those, 2/3 offer only limited support. That is a serious disconnect.
"while employees value consumerization of IT, businesses are hesitant due to perceived risks. Half (50.7 percent) of the same set of IT professionals surveyed called out that employee access to personal devices was a productivity necessity, while only 7.9 percent said personal devices were detrimental to productivity. Meanwhile, 74 percent of the respondents emphasized that the enterprise';s biggest mobile challenge was managing information security."
"Employee support for consumerization of IT is in full swing, whether business leaders are ready to admit it or not," said Orlando Scott-Cowley, senior product marketing manager of Mimecast. "These results show a massive divide between employee sentiment and what the enterprise is actually willing to support when it comes to personal devices. It';s time enterprises fully enable their employees'; productivity by not only supporting the range of mobile and tablet devices, but also providing the solutions that ensures corporate data remains secure."
The Citrix whitepaper, Best Practices to Make BYOD Simple and Secure, provides IT executives with guidance to develop a complete BYOD strategy. Your policy should enable your organization to:
- Empower people to choose their own devices to improve productivity, collaboration and mobility
- Protect sensitive information from loss and theft while addressing privacy, compliance and risk management mandates
- Reduce costs and simplify management through self-service provisioning and automated management and monitoring
- Simplify IT by deploying apps once for use on any device
With BYOD, IT departments are caught between the proverbial rock and hard place: IT doesn';t control the actions of the carrier or the devices, yet is still being held responsible to support BYOD employees, even if IT isn';t getting additional resources to do so.
The flip side is to unload BYOD support onto employees. The thinking goes, they are on the hook to repair their own personal devices. Got a problem with your iPad? Head to the nearest Apple Genius Bar.
As BYOD becomes more pervasive and mission-critical, this kind of self-service won';t hold up. "You don';t really have control of the device and data if employees are solely responsible for managing the device," says Aberdeen analyst Hyoun Park."At that point, the company has abdicated control of some of its assets."
Bottom line: CIOs will have to invest in help desk support for BYOD.
Of the several resources that I have reviewed that may assist you in writing an IT support policy for BYOD, here are 2 more excellent links. The CIO Strategic Guide as a great place to start. The guide lists 7 points to consider when creating an BYOD policy.
- Specify What Devices Are Permitted
- Establish a Stringent Security Policy for all Devices
- Define a Clear Service Policy
- Make It Clear Who Owns What Apps and Data
- Decide What Apps Will Be Allowed or Banned
- Integrate Your BYOD Plan With Your Acceptable Use Policy
- Set Up an Employee Exit Strategy
Another valuable resource is the BYOD Policy Template by Megan Berry available on IT Manager Daily.
"Writing a BYOD policy forces companies to think things through before they turn their employees loose with their own smartphones and tablets on the organization';s network. Questions that must be settled by the organization';s leadership during the planning stage include: Which web browsers should employees use? Which security tools offer the best protection for the range of devices that will be allowed to connect to the network? What level of support is IT expected to provide? To make sure nothing is overlooked, get input from people across the company: HR, IT, accounting, legal - workers and executives alike."
The template includes: Acceptable Use, Device Support, Reimbursement, and Security. Each of these areas of a policy are vital to having a complete policy that can guide your users, managers, accounting and help desk alike. Good luck with your policy and the BYOD help desk support. And please let me know about the roadblocks you are facing and the successes you are having.