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.

Boosting the Remote Workforce Using Video Conferencing

shutterstock_183272411Cube farms and huge worker facilities are declining in number, thanks to the myriad of tools available for remote workers. Video conferencing is a highly effective communication tool that offers an endless array of benefits to both employees and their companies. Businesses are saving time and money and improving the quality of their workers’ lives across the globe. Here are a few of the ways that this communication method is making its mark on organizations.

Improved Employee Engagement

At times it may be challenging for a remote worker to truly feel that he or she is part of the bigger picture. In addition to geographical separation, the lack of face-to-face connection can make team cohesion quite difficult. Video conferencing is an effective way to visually communicate, helping workers feel more connected and integral to their team and organization.

Getting the Entire Message

Nonverbal communication is easier to interpret in a traditional workplace. Remote workers can miss out on nonverbal cues and have a tough time understanding the meaning of what is being conveyed. Video conferencing fills the gap for teleworkers, allowing them to see their colleagues and pick up on the nuances of facial expressions, body language, and vocal tone. Team bonds are stronger and employees have better rapport and relationships with one another as a result.

Global Thinking

Video conferencing makes people around the globe completely available to one another, and offers work opportunities to individuals who may not otherwise have them. Work can be done from anywhere in the world. A coworker on a different continent is just a screen away using a simple piece of software and a compatible camera. Video has also provided businesses with a more robust candidate pool since staffers have more flexibility than in past employment models.

Staying Current

In the past, companies relied upon town hall meetings and paper memos to deliver vital information. If an employee was not on-site, he or she missed out on the communication. Using video conferencing tools, both in-house and remote workers can be included in the message at the same time. Feedback and open dialogue are efficient and constructive since attendance is comprehensive. Everyone is informed and kept current and no one is left feeling excluded.

Team and Interdepartmental Collaboration

Possibly the most impressive benefit of video conferencing is its ability to improve collaboration. Geographically dispersed teams now have the ability to talk in real-time, brainstorming and problem solving just as effectively as a group located in the same room. This method is significantly faster than chat or email correspondence for reviewing materials simultaneously or making group decisions. Deadlines are more attainable when dialogue is open and bi-directional.

In addition, holding team members accountable for their contributions (or lack thereof) is easier when using video. If a team member is absent, it’s more promptly noticed over video than it would be over IM, text or email.

Video conferencing is an incredible asset to a company whose workers are remote or geographically distributed. Companies choosing to implement this tool will experience boosts in productivity and cost savings, as well as better team cohesion and improved collaboration.