Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is gaining momentum globally. According to the April 2013 Gartner survey of CIOs, “Bring Your Own Device: The Facts and the Future,“ by 2017, half of employers will require employees to supply their own device for work purposes.”

Some organizations are moving beyond just email access to mobilizing business workflows, business intelligence, and customer support. To really harness the true value of BYOD, a solid strategy and proper management is required, however, that’s where IT departments face some common challenges.

Protecting network and data security

By far, one of the biggest pain points for organizations tackling BYOD is security. How do they ensure that these personal smartphones and tablets accessing their network do not compromise corporate security? IT needs to take into account not only the endpoints accessing the company’s network but also the protection of business data at rest and in transit when selecting a BYOD solution. Best-of-breed solutions go beyond device encryption to address data, email, network and application-level security.

Merging disparate solutions

As companies continue to expand access to corporate data and tools beyond corporate-owned devices to employee-owned devices, mobility management becomes a challenge. Deploying multiple management solutions can add to the complexity. To help reduce the strain on IT resources, organizations should consider holistic solutions that integrate corporate-owned and employee-owned device management from a single management platform. Keep in mind, the solution should also balance the company’s need for control and protection of business data with regulatory requirements around employee privacy.

Providing employee privacy

Infringing on privacy regulations with dual persona devices is a concern that cannot be ignored by IT. Mobile Workspace Management solutions (MWM) eliminate the need for IT to manage the entire device, thus helping companies meet end-user privacy compliance standards. MWM solutions, also known as containers, partitions work data and business applications from personal information on employees’ devices. IT administrators simply manage the apps and content in the secure workspace on an employee’s personal device. Plus, in the event that the employee leaves the company, they can simply wipe and lock the workspace remotely, keeping the employee’s personal apps and content intact.

Managing costs

Some might argue that mobilizing a broader set of employees only adds to an organization’s operational costs. The most obvious savings with a BYOD policy is that it helps reduce support costs and employees absorb equipment costs. In addition, selecting a BYOD solution that allows a company to leverage existing IT infrastructure investment can provide tremendous cost savings. Today, many companies provide an unlimited data plan to employees regardless of how much data is really being used monthly for work. Choosing a BYOD solution that allows companies to track and adjust business data allotment usage for work-related activities can help facilitate better wireless expense management. The right solution and a well-defined strategy can deliver financial savings and productivity gains that positively impact a company’s bottom-line.

Has your company experienced any headaches with BYOD? What are the solutions that have worked for you?

Learn more about BYOD.