Until recently, IT environments were pretty closed. Users were forced to adapt to various types of technology rather than enjoying the ability to adapt tech to their own unique needs. Today, however, we have the ability to look at configuration, provisioning, and deployment in a whole new way. As such, a growing number of enterprises are viewing individualization as a better way to boost productivity while decreasing IT costs. The only question is how to create a more open IT environment and framework without negatively impacting security and standards. Here’s our two cents on the matter.
In the beginning, there was BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). As enterprises struggled to deal with employees who didn’t like or perform well on company-issued devices, many businesses started allowing their teams to use their personal devices for business purposes. This opened the door to a great deal of flexibility and a (very) open IT environment. In order to prevent serious security breaches, these enterprises were required to put together a reliable mobile device management (MDM) plan that was capable of:
- Identifying and assessing risk
- Setting for policies for operation and usage
- Naming responsible parties to enforce policies for devices connecting to the company network
- Allowing for remote device management
- Application control
- Data and device encryption
- Wiping devices when retired
- Revoking access where needed
While this is an involved process, many businesses have found that, when managed properly, the BYOD solutions works for them.
If BYOD seems a little too “loosey goosey” for your business, you may be in need of a more controlled solution. One great way to implement open IT environments is by establishing a Choose Your Own Device (CYOD) program. Instead of issuing a standard device to all of your employees that they are forced to adapt to and use, CYOD provides users with options. Businesses that are concerned with a “free-for-all” of devices creating security risks and other problems via BYOD programs will appreciate having the ability to regulate employee choices. Here, you can allow your team to choose from devices that adhere to specific IT standards for both security and management purposes. The end result is a very healthy blend of flexibility and stability. This allows for improved end-user experiences, increased productivity, boosted employee morale, and lower IT costs - all without sacrificing security.
In order to successfully implement a CYOD program, you’ll need to consider three things:
- Devices -- In order for your CYOD program to work for you and your employees, you must be willing to provide users with options. Giving your staff the “choice” between two slightly differing MacBooks is NOT true CYOD. The devices need to be different in order to allow for the flexibility and open IT structure that your team needs in order to function at its peak levels.
- Management -- To be successful, enterprises need to employ some sort of MDM. When creating an MDM plan for your CYOD program, you need to make sure that it is carefully aligned with your business goals. If you want to start cutting costs and saving money right away, it’s smart to allow employees to choose from devices that are compatible with your current infrastructure and OS. If you want to give your staff a different (and possibly better) end-user experience, you should start shopping around for what can work across multiple devices and platforms.
- Policies -- Above all, you need to make decisions about how much (or how little) control you want to have over the CYOD program. If you’re overbearing, your employees may feel like they’re being constrained or could be much less comfortable with the device selection being offered. Too little, and the overall structure and security of the program could completely unravel. Take the time to find a balance that works for you.
BYOD and CYOD allow for a more open IT environment that is better for both enterprises and their employees. Could you use some help implementing and managing an open IT environment? Let the experts at Uncommon Solutions start helping you meet your goals today.