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Beyond IT: The non-tech guide to implementing BYOD 

Daniel Dern

Making "Bring Your Own Device" successful takes a mix of technical and non-technical planning. 

By now we are all aware of — and possibly involved in — Bring Your Own Device programs, or BYOD. BYOD employees today use their own smartphones, tablets, and notebooks to work efficiently and effectively from almost anywhere in the world. And a number of organizations, from the enterprise to the federal government, are rolling out BYOD programs.

But it’s not all pie in the cloud-enabled sky.

Implementing BYOD can inject new problems into your enterprise workflow, including security risks and productivity roadblocks.

Part of the solution to making BYOD work is, of course, technical, like having a Mobile Device Management (MDM) system or a cloud-based MDM. But there’s also a strong, non-technical, management aspect to consider. Here are three steps that your company should follow to create a successful BYOD environment that enables employees and harmonizes with the overall IT infrastructure.

​A successful end starts with a clear start: knowing what you want BYOD to do for your company.

1. Start with a vision

 A successful end starts with a clear start: knowing what you want BYOD to do for your company.

Once you know what you’re aiming at, put together a plan for getting there, including a schedule, staffing, and why your company is encouraging BYOD in the first place.

3. (How much) will you reimburse?

It’s easy to assume that BYOD will save your company money, because the employees are the ones who pay for the devices. However, it’s not always that simple:


  • Employees today expect some reimbursement, particularly if they have to purchase a new device to accommodate company business and technical requirements.
  • Employees will legitimately look for reimbursement for carrier voice, texting and data usage.

Are there ways to divvy up company-versus-personal costs? Ask IT or talk to a mobile carrier about group business plans and billing.

Put BYOD to work for your organization 

Learn how to avoid roadblocks when planning and building a BYOD program. 
Companies of all sizes are allowing and encouraging BYOD. But some fail, and not all succeed as well as they might. Following these three steps (and having IT closely in the loop) will help your company be one of the successes — perhaps saving IT some money, improving productivity and flexibility, and making employees happier. 
Daniel Dern
Daniel P. Dern is an independent Boston-based technology, business and marketing writer whose articles have appeared in sites and publications that include the Boston Globe/BetaBoston.com, ComputerWorld, IEEE Spectrum, ITWorld.com, and TechTarget.