BYOD stands for bring your own device, whereby your organization lets employees use personal devices for day-to-day work. Sounds simple, right?
Unlike corporate devices where the enterprise has complete freedom to choose users’ device types and platforms, BYOD is a different case altogether. In BYOD environments, employees often use different devices manufactured by different OEMs running on multiple OS versions. In such a scenario, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to managing these various BYOD devices.
Before we get to managing BYOD, let’s look at why BYOD is so appealing in the first place.
Implementing BYOD helps enterprises improve productivity. Employees can work whenever and wherever they choose with access to the corporate data they need for their day-to-day tasks. Plus, nothing beats the familiarity of working on a personal device, as there’s virtually no learning curve.
On top of this, the enterprise won’t need to spend time and resources procuring additional devices if employees already own them. With advantages like these, BYOD is here to stay for the foreseeable future.
Now, while BYOD environments facilitate productivity, they also bring with them a number of security concerns and other management challenges for IT teams. So how do you strike the right balance between utilizing mobile devices to boost productivity and properly managing them?
This is where mobile device management (MDM) comes into play. A comprehensive MDM solution can help overcome many of the various issues enterprises face during BYOD management. Let’s take a closer look at five BYOD challenges IT teams face and the ways a standard MDM solution can help mitigate them.
Bringing BYOD devices under the enterprise’s MDM setup
One of the most common problems with managing employees’ personal devices is that they’re already in use. Unlike corporate devices, which are often new and can be easily enrolled by an admin before use, personal devices present an enrollment challenge, as many enrollment methods required devices to be factory reset.
The simplest option involves employees onboarding the devices themselves. You can enroll the device either by sending invites to the employee via email or SMS. Another option is to enroll the devices by authenticating them using employees’ Active Directory (AD) credentials.
Installing requisite apps on BYOD devices
In a mobile-only or mobile-first workforce, most tasks are carried out using apps. These apps can be either publicly available for sale on the internet, or they can be in-house apps designed specifically for the enterprise. Many organizations even have specific sets of apps specifically for different departments. But ensuring that the requisite apps are both installed and running the correct versions can be a time-consuming task.
When it comes to publicly available paid apps, the most convenient option is purchasing the app via Apple Business Manager (or Apple School Manager) for iOS devices, and Play for Work for Android devices; this lets you install paid apps silently on certain devices, which saves employees the hassle of configuring app licenses. For some devices, a bit of pre-configuration may be required before you can begin silently installing apps.
You can also predefine permissions and configurations pertaining to enterprise-approved apps. This ensures the app is ready for use immediately upon installation and doesn’t require any user intervention.
Providing secure access to corporate data
With a mobile-based workforce, employees need to be able to access data from anywhere, including outside the enterprise network. While access to data through the internet can be convenient, from a security standpoint, it presents some concerns. You need to ensure employees are only able to access data through secure channels.
One way to give your employees access to corporate data outside the enterprise network is by configuring a virtual private network (VPN) through which remote devices can securely access confidential data. You can also restrict access to corporate Exchange mailboxes from devices that have yet to enroll in your MDM solution to prevent unauthorized data access from unapproved devices.
Managing BYOD devices only during work hours
Seeing as these are personal devices, employees expect that their devices will only be managed when they’re in the enterprise network or during work hours if they’re remote.
To ensure that devices are only managed inside the office premises, you can use your MDM solution to configure policies like geofencing. Geofencing lets IT admins define a virtual geographical range wherein the device is under the enterprise’s management. This type of policy ensures that when a given device leaves the office premises, the corporate policies are revoked, and employees can maintain privacy of their personal lives.
The other option, aimed at remote users, is to use time fencing. This ensures that the device is managed only for a predefined duration.
Managing only corporate data with zero control over personal data
This is a tricky problem, as both corporate data and personal data are bound to coexist on the same device, making isolation and management of corporate data a challenge.
This is where the concept of containerization comes to the forefront. As the name suggests, containerization isolates corporate data into a logical container, and the MDM solution only controls this space; in this way, complete user privacy is ensured, while the corporate data is effectively managed.
If you’re looking for an MDM solution with extensive BYOD management capabilities, look no further: start your fully functional, 30-day free trial of Mobile Device Manager Plus today.
** Optrics Inc. is an Authorized ManageEngine partner
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