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Small and mid-sized firms face difficulties with BYOD

September 09, 2013

Businesses are increasingly contracting IT support services to develop corporate mobile strategies to spur innovation among employees. New varieties of these policies, typically known as bring-your-own-device, are highly popular with staff members who seek greater convenience and flexibility in how and where they conduct work. 

However, midsize companies may not be seeing the value of BYOD as much as their larger counterparts, a recent study revealed.

BYOD isn't convenient for all firms      
In a survey by Vanson Bourne that interviewed IT decision makers from 200 midsized U.K. organizations,, nearly all (97 percent) stated they are pursuing some sort of mobile strategy, with driving productivity being the top goal, Computer Weekly reported. Despite this intention, firms are not involving IT departments as much as would be expected or advised. In fact, only half of respondents said including IT services in the development of a mobile strategy is a "high" or "very high" priority.

The costs of failing to include IT departments in this campaign was revealed in the survey, according to Computer Weekly.

"In those companies that rate mobile strategy as a top priority, IT management teams are progressing mobile data capabilities simultaneously on the different fronts of web optimization, mobile applications and mobile working for staff," the article stated.

Make simplicity a top priority                
There are a number of steps businesses can take to ease transition to BYOD policies while safeguarding security and supporting productivity.

According to  the website IT Business Edge, instead of allowing employees to use their own—likely insecure—devices and short of buying a fleet of smartphones or tablets, firms can set up a stipend program in which each worker receives an amount of money to buy a device that pleases her or her and meets company requirements.

In addition to guiding staff members on which technological devices to purchase, the news source suggested businesses create a list of recommended applications to download. 

"Rather than leaving the decision up to employees of which apps and cloud services to use, it may be a better idea for SMBs to list a number of recommended apps for productivity," IT Business Edge suggested. "Some form of support should also be offered, where possible, which may include documentation on how to set up and use the apps, and may extend to technical assistance."

When possible, companies may also want to create a list of apps to avoid and take the first step toward improving security.

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