Although conducted back in 2013, the Connected Workplace survey reported that 83% of employees in businesses with flexible technology policies reported job satisfaction opposed to 62% for businesses without such policies. 
By allowing your employees to bring their own smartphones, tablets and laptops to work, you’re able to better facilitate better collaboration and productivity. Furthermore, by introducing telework (work from home) opportunities, you’re likely to raise job satisfaction to even higher levels.
There are some policy-related and technical considerations to make before allowing everyone’s favourite gadget through your doors. Loftus has prepared the following list, titled Flexible Technology – 5 Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Issues, that raises a handful of factors to consider when crafting your own policy.
Flexible Technology – 5 Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Issues
- What devices will you allow?
On the surface, it seems like a no-brainer. But what will you allow to be brought to your workplace? Is it any and all smartphones? Just iPhones or just Androids? What about tablets and laptops?
By allowing any and every device, you might find yourself needing to provide IT support (or seek external advice) when someone can’t check their work e-mail, see their calendar, or open a document. Any productivity gains might be lost in frustrated attempts to get devices harmonising with your workplace. If you can’t get it working, who has final call over “formatting” the device and starting again?
- What operating system(s) will you support?
An Apple Mac laptop in a business that exclusively uses Microsoft Windows-based PCs might not be able to run your core Line of Business application. But perhaps the application will run smoothly on both Macs and PCs. It’s worth looking at your application software, or contacting your vendor, to see what platforms it will run on. In doing so, you should also need to check your licencing to make sure you’re compliant.
- What level of access will you grant?
Security should be foremost in mind. How will you stop employees loading sensitive company data onto their own laptop, tablet or phone? What if they lose that device? The first step is to ensure that all devices are protected via a password – go beyond the simple unlock pin found on many smartphones. You may also need to introduce a policy that enables you to remotely wipe any phone that is lost or stolen.
It’s also worth implementing “office” and “guest” networks to allow visitors Internet access and/or basic systems access but prevent them from unauthorised access to company information.
Furthermore, if you’re providing Remote Desktop Services (RDS) access, for staff to work from home, how much of your network and systems should they be allowed to access? How will you log and police this?
- What happens when an employee leaves?
When an employee leaves your business, what happens to their device? Do you need to inspect it to make sure that any company-related data has been permanently deleted? Or do you need to have the right to “format” it?
- What about statutory regulations that apply to your business?
Is your organisation bound by the Privacy Act or other legislation that prevents you from collecting, storing or disclosing of personal information? If so, a BYOD policy may be a moot point.
In preparing your workplace for a flexible technology policy that supports Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), it’s important to get the right advice.
Loftus team members are Microsoft and Cisco Networking Academy certified professionals that can help by making sure your environment is secure and auditable without sacrificing flexibility.
Loftus can help configure and secure a flexible IT environment for you and your staff. Contact Us or phone 1300 LOFTUS (1300 563 887) to discover how.
 Deloitte Access Economics. 2013. The Connected Workplace. [ONLINE]
Available at: http://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/au/Documents/finance/deloitte-au-fas-connected-workplace-2013-240914.pdf.
[Accessed 23 March 15].