BYOD Options: The More, the Messier

BYODOrganizations are finding increasing value in allowing a wider array of devices to be used for company business. From improved worker satisfaction and productivity to reduced communications equipment costs, this simple perk makes a surprising difference. Before implementing a flexible bring your own device (BYOD) program, a number of key factors must be considered to protect company interests.

Security Provisions

One of the most concerning issues for organizations considering a BYOD program is the perceived lack of control over the device, especially as it relates to security. Any equipment capable of accessing company networks or data represents a point of risk of exposure. An important part of a successful device strategy is to dictate certain requirements for all devices involved.

For example, the policy may call for active anti-virus applications on any devices that will be used. Access to sensitive data may be configured so that a VPN tunnel must be used rather than straight access from a suspicious hotspot or public Wi-Fi. A PIN or password on the device could be another requirement. These types of tactics allow any device to be used with less risk of data loss or compromise.

Employee Training

In some cases, data breaches result from a lack of employee training. Without being educated on why public hotspots could be dangerous, a worker may not think twice about connecting to their work email from the coffee shop’s Wi-Fi. Teaching staff about phishing, rogue applications designed to collect payment and authorization information, and ways to physically protect devices from being lost or stolen increases their awareness. Giving them the tools to help protect the company and themselves minimizes the chance of a security incident from a BYOD connection.

Manageability

Another troublesome “control” issue within BYOD programs is how to terminate access if an employee leaves. Removing company data, applications, and connectivity may seem impossible. However, with today’s mobile device management tools this task becomes painless and efficient. Devices that are lost or stolen can be deactivated or wiped, access can be deleted, and sensitive information tightly secured.

Application Selection

Last but not least, choosing the right applications for use across the company is a necessary part of the BYOD conversation. For example, applications that are strictly on-premise or legacy are going to be out of reach for most, if not all, mobile devices. Ensure that cloud applications are secure and compatible with other company systems before choosing to implement them.

BYOD programs take significant burden off of IT personnel who would ordinarily be inundated with acquiring, provisioning, supporting, configuring, and deactivating devices. Workers get more done with hardware they’re most familiar with and enjoy the freedom to use their preferred devices. Flexible BYOD strategies can be quite effective with an appropriate measure of preparedness. For more information on creating effective mobile policies, contact ROI Networkstoday.

How Video Conferencing Has Boosted the Non-Enterprise Business Population

shutterstock_278932784smRemember when video conferencing (VC) was complicated and expensive to use? Those days are a distant memory as technology has placed this tool in reach of companies of any size. This powerful instrument is now helping small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) save money, grow faster, and do more with less.

 

A History of Video Conferencing

From the early days of VC, large enterprises were the typical customer. Big banking, pharma, and even government entities used this expensive technology. Special rooms were used to execute these conferences so that adequate lighting and sound levels were in place. Complex features such as multipoint call hosting and video streaming were part of the mix, which was difficult and costly to administrate.

Fortunately, VC has become a much simpler production that is now accessible to everyone from enterprises to consumers through easily attainable and very portable devices. Global communication has never been better, and companies are now able to minimize spending categories that traditionally broke the bank, such as the purchase of necessary hardware and video equipment. Big video rooms have largely been eliminated as companies look to optimize their real estate.

Acquiring and Using Video Conferencing

The vastly improved accessibility of VC was predominantly dependent upon the simultaneous evolution of infrastructure. The shift from traditional on-premise hardware to cloud based solutions was a key contributor to the rising availability of this tool.

The multitude of VC vendors offering services today means that companies have immense flexibility in configuring how they’ll use VC. Some will solely use cloud services whereas others will adopt the traditional route of running VC on their present-day systems. Some may still wish to employ specialized meeting rooms while a larger number will tend toward the use of mobile devices and computer webcams.

Inexpensive VC software has popped up practically everywhere. Easy to use software like WebEx, JoinMe, FreeConferenceCall.com, and GoToMeeting make it incredibly simple to present professionally. The power of these software offerings is growing by the day, and video image and audio quality also continues to improve.

The Reality of Video Conferencing

The point of VC is to improve workflows and processes within a company, or otherwise help to expedite work. But as useful as it is for business collaboration, it is not meant to replace all travel or meetings. VC will simply help to enhance these sessions by facilitating communication and strengthening team cohesion.

Deciding to implement a VC solution should be done with the awareness that it will not be a cure-all where business travel is concerned. But it is generally worth more than its cost as it enables better teamwork, enhances productivity, and strengthens the organization from within.

[Infographic] Enterprise Mobility Strategy: BYOD or CYOD?

Companies large and small understand that having a mobile workforce can provide a competitive advantage. So why hasn’t every business ‘mobilized’ then? Enabling a company’s workforce to go mobile isn’t as easy as walking into a cell phone store and buying a phone. For businesses, it’s much more strategic, with aspects like cost and data security to be considered. This infographic highlights two popular strategies for businesses interested in going mobile. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and CYOD (Choose Your Own Device). Is one right for your business?

ROI-Infographic-BYOD-CYOD

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