Tips for SMBs to manage BYOD

Focusing on functionality key in policy development and cost-benefit ratio not always favorable for small and midsize businesses in some cases.
Written by Ryan Huang, Contributor

For some small and midsize businesses (SMBs), the cost of embracing bring-your-own-device (BYOD) may sometimes outweigh the benefits.
According to Drew Graham, director at IT services company eVantage Technology, there are significant overheads in implementing BYOD management policies and accommodating personal devices in the workplace, especially for SMBs with larger IT departments.
"On a cost-benefit ratio, it can be a pretty onerous consideration for SMBs," Graham said. A key focus, for instance, should be on controling access to data rather than devices which is typically done in traditional policies, he added.

He pointed out SMBs can tap existing infrastructures available without having to go down the route large organizations take, which can be out of reach for the typical SMB budget. This includes the use of existing public key infrastructure, which can help control access to devices, he said.

Graham also underscored the importance of thinking from a functionality perspective, rather than an IT perspective, when developing policies for small businesses. "Once you figure out what the workflow demands, then you can start putting a policy in place," he said. 

He added it was also critical to consult users on these policies because "if they don't like [the policy], they will just ignore it".

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