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3 things you need to do before implementing your BYOD plan

Deciding on, and then implementing a BYOD program can be a huge challenge. It may even seem like an intimidating and impossible task. While most businesses are attracted to the cost-efficiency of a BYOD program, there are certain things that must be done to ensure the plan is successful.

Understanding BYOD

BYOD (which you likely already know stands for “Bring Your Own Device“) is something that is becoming more and more common in businesses today. This type of program allows your employees to bring their own, personal mobile devices and use them for work-related purposes. This is in lieu of the company providing them with laptops, smartphones or other mobile devices.

If you are thinking about implementing the BYOD program, but you don’t know where to begin, here’s our short list of what you’ll need.

1

Establish a security policy for all devices

Before you allow your employees the freedom to access your company’s resources from any device, you need to ensure there are stringent security guidelines in place.

Most users are resistant to complex passwords and lock screens simply because they are inconvenient. However, an unsecured device can leave your business’s sensitive data prone to an attack.

To ensure everything is safeguarded, you need to make sure that your BYOD includes the following security guidelines:

  • Set the minimum required security controls for all devices, which includes password requirements and data encryption.
  • Determine where the data from a BYOD device is going to be stored.
  • Determine if your IT department can remotely wipe devices if it is lost, an employee is terminated, there’s a policy breach, disaster situation, or some other issue.
  • Are your employees going to be required to install a mobile device security application, or are workers going to have the ability to choose their own security solutions that meet set criteria?

The strictness of the guidelines that you set will depend on your industry.

Put protections in place against any legal liability

When you introduce devices owned by your employee in your workplace, then it may lead to legal issues. As a result, you need to implement policies that help you avoid problems. Some things to consider include:

  • Rights: What legal rights do your employees and the organization have? Know what these are to create the proper privacy requirements and regulatory requirements.
  • Responsibilities: Do employees who are using a device with a corporate app or data have the responsibility of providing protection for the device? What happens if no steps are taken to protect it?
  • Liability: Will the company be held liable if an action on its part results in private data loss? What liability lies with the employee?
  • Privacy: What are the steps your business is going to take to protect employee privacy?

3

Define specific and concise user guidelines

By creating acceptable use policies, it’s possible to prevent malware and viruses from getting into the system via unsecured apps or websites.

It’s a good idea to talk about the following questions with your IT team or your managed service provider to set up your acceptable use policies. These questions include:

  • What applications can an employee access from their personal devices? Make sure that you clearly outline the types of apps that are allowed and the ones that aren’t allowed.
  • What websites need to be banned while the employee’s device is connected to the business network?
  • What type of company-owned assets will employees be allowed to access on their personal electronic devices? Contracts, documents, calendars, emails, etc.?
  • What type of policies are going to be implemented to keep employees from transmitting or storing illicit materials or from engaging in unrelated activities on their devices?

A tip from companies that have implemented BYOD policies in the past is that if you block the “time wasting” sites such as YouTube and Facebook, it may seem somewhat controlling to workers. As long as employees continue to perform well, there’s no need to implement these types of restrictions.

The best way for you to successfully get your employees excited and on board with your bring your own device program is by working to create a trusting environment. If you implement excessive restrictions, then it may make your workers feel like you are actually infringing on their personal freedoms. Rather than doing this, take the time to let them know about the realities of a BYOD program, and give them the ability and opportunity to use this new freedom responsibly.

Implementing BYOD at your business: now you know

If you are planning to implement a BYOD policy for your business, then using the tips and information here can be extremely beneficial. After all, this type of policy can be extremely beneficial for your company, a well as your employees.

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Keep in mind, you may have to tweak and alter your BYOD policy as you move forward. This is fine, just be willing to measure the success of the plans you have made to determine if changes are needed. By doing this, you will be prepared to ensure your employees have the best possible plan in place and that your company and your workers are reaping all the possible benefits that are offered by the bring your own device policy.

The Top 5 Apps to Boost Your Productivity

You can find an app to do almost anything these days. Apps can monitor your health, maintain your schedule and improve your social life.

While many of these apps are enjoyable, only a handful are actually business-related. But when it comes to your company, you can still continue to use these applications to improve your productivity.

If you’re looking to get productive, the following five apps are well worth implementing.

SiteBlock

When you get to the office each day, you intend to sit down and get right to work. But first, you need to check the weather, local news and, of course, Facebook.

Before you know it, you’ve wasted 15 minutes or more surfing the web. SiteBlock is a Chrome extension that lets you temporarily block your favorite sites so that you are forced to concentrate (and hopefully get your work done).

You can easily unblock them when your work is finished or when you take your lunch break.

You can consider it a willpower enhancer.

Related: Transform Your Work Environment with the Cloud

Trello

Busy people need help staying organized. No one can remember every detail of their schedule when they are balancing work and their personal life.

Many people find Trello to be an easy-to-use app that alerts you to what you need to do today, tomorrow, and next week. After some initial configuration, the program will help you meet all your deadlines by never letting an important task slip by.

Trove

Keeping up with your email may seem impossible. Even when you’re diligent, spam creeps in. You overlook an important message. You forget to follow up when people don’t reply.

Trove offers a radar section that marks emails that need answers and reminds you when people haven’t responded to your messages. With this app, you can easily maintain control of your email inbox.

Stop, Breathe & Think

Sure, “mindfulness” is amongst current trends… but for good reason. This app helps you stay calm in all situations, which is a priceless business skill as well as life-enhancer.

Stop, Breathe & Think walks you through mediation sessions that make you feel less stressed and more in control. As a result, you will be less likely to make bad decisions based on emotion. Your health will probably benefit as a result, too.

Skype

If you haven’t fully embraced Skype at your office, you may not be maximizing your productivity. Many companies use Skype for video conferencing, saving travel time, and hosting more efficient meetings.

You can discuss business matters with your overseas branch or with the group across town. If you are on vacation, you can still hold an emergency meeting if necessary.

Related: Weather the Storm with Cloud Mobility

Not everyone uses all elements of Skype, such as the ability to instant message and upload documents. You can also screen share so that you can demonstrate processes and work on projects as a team, even when people are scattered around the globe.

Get Productive

You can choose from an impressive number of applications for productivity and mobility. You will experience workflow improvement, and you should also experience less stress, individually and as a team.

Not all applications are created equal, but you can find at least a few that will work for you and your employees. Many are inexpensive or even free, so you can certainly afford to try them out. You may be surprised at how much more you will get done each day.

Business Mobility Tips for Bad Weather

Across the country the last few days, the cold weather has been devastating. Raleigh-Durham had its coldest day in 130 years. They call this one the “bomb cyclone” because of the sudden and extreme drop in temperature. Weather like this is uncommon in the South, but in the Northeast, it’s somewhat expected. This past October, 80,000 Maine customers lost electricity. With this kind of weather, businesses everywhere must prepare their staff for mobility. Here are our mobility tips for keeping downtime to a minimum and keeping your staff productive and collaborative even when the office is inaccessible.

Ensure You Have the Right Tools

As most business owners already know, the wrong tools can slow your growth (or bring it to a halt). The same goes with productivity and collaboration tools. An essential component of running a smooth process is first and foremost getting your team all on the same software. This could be Office 365 or G Suite for Business or whatever makes sense for your company. Every member of your staff should be well-educated on the tools of the office, so there are no hiccups when employees are on their own.

Communication is key. Audio and video conferencing tools should be thoroughly researched and available so your staff can continue with meetings and brainstorming sessions that yield productive results.

Tied into this, you may want to explore a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) program. The key here is to ensure your security protocols are maximized, even when employees use their own iPhones or laptops.

Automate Whenever Possible

We haven’t quite made it to the land of artificial intelligence. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t improve our businesses with automation and with machine learning. When bad weather strikes, the fewer manual tasks your staff has to perform, the smoother your company will run. Assessing your workflow and automating whenever possible can yield incredible results – and that’s not restricted to bomb cyclones or any other bad weather days.

To properly automated, you need to fully understand the complexity of your processes. Gather your staff together and start charting out how products are released, how distribution and channeling is tasked out, and how information is shared. The simpler you can make these, the more effective your business will run when your team is unexpectedly scattered.

Get as Much in the Cloud as You Can

The cloud is the new business powerhouse. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2020 cloud deployment of software solutions will be the default option. This shouldn’t be a surprise because the enterprise-level security you get in the cloud, combined with the ideal mobility, gives you many advantages over the old model of server storage in the basement.

When bad weather hits, on-premise data storage can be tricky at best and devastating at worst. By migrating to the cloud, you give your team secure access wherever they are. This gives you and your employees the best chance of limiting downtime and keeping productivity high and heading toward your goals.

Get Your BDR Plan in Shape with EaseTech

One of the main factors in combating bad weather is preparation. For businesses, this lies in your backup and disaster recovery plan. The plan itself is a living document that should detail the procedures and processes for getting back to business when the worst happens. Your BDR plan will give tasks to each employee, so there is never a question as to how the business will continue.

So, when you’re prepared for the worst, you can expect the best results.

Related: How to Build a Disaster Recovery Plan for Accounting Firms