Many employees know their smartphone better than the back of their hand. Aiming to keep it personal, they'll load up their device with their favorite apps and maintain their calendar to stay right on schedule. For some, the attachment is too strong to deny. These same people have made headlines for disregarding their company policy and bringing their own device to work. What many companies are finding today, in alignment with a recent Forrester blog post, bring your own device (BYOD) should not be a fulfillment of employee wants. Rather, it should be about giving them “the right tools for the job."
Mobile device management: the tool for BYOD
Businesses can reap the benefits of BYOD-enabled productivity, but, just like employees, they need the right tools. A recent ComputerWeekly article said businesses need to prepare for BYOD by implementing robust mobile solutions.
"Today’s businesses need a smarter, more mobile approach," said Fergus Murphy, Marketing Director, Client Solutions, Dell Europe, who was quoted in the article. "If an organisation wishes to remain in a very competitive market, it needs to open its mind and broaden its perspectives."
Being able to manage mobile device security and enforce effective policies is one side of a comprehensive BYOD program. However, Murphy pointed out businesses also need monitoring tools to measure productivity gains.
One of the ways businesses can enhance productivity is by monitoring the demands of their networks. Solutions such as mobile expense management (MEM) can include application usage monitoring and control, allowing businesses to embrace BYOD without placing an excessive demand on their IT resources.
Mobile application management: productivity without bottlenecks
A CNBC guest post written by Joel Vincent, Director of Product Marketing at Aerohive Networks, discussed the data overload challenge more in depth. Limiting application usage is one strategy many businesses use to avoid bandwidth strain. However, Vincent said that may limit employee productivity. Vincent provided three guidelines for the BYOD-enabled business:
- Develop a policy for app usage: Determine whether employee app usage will be limited and establish clear limitations
- Avoid network bottlenecks: It should design infrastructure for high-speed, time-sensitive applications
- Ensure guest Wi-Fi doesn't impact internal performance: Create a user context-aware architecture
The big takeaway is businesses need flexibility to accommodate BYOD. Mobile policies should be clear, but allow for adaptation as mobile demands evolve. Effective mobile device management (MDM) solutions need to be just as flexible in order to adapt, providing support not only for more types of devices, but a higher volume of applications running on those devices.