Phil Jones is managing director of Brother UK, the technology and communications company that supports agile, collaborative working.
BYOD (bring your own device) gives employees the freedom to choose technology which best fits the way they work, at work.
Our own research demonstrates the popularity of BYOD schemes. 40% of businesses in the UK already operate a policy of their own, recognising the importance of agility and innovation in the work place.
The influx of consumer technology into the workplace has fuelled a change in traditional IT system provision. Applications are now driving huge changes in individual productivity, information sharing and collaboration. Device independence is something that many employees are demanding from their employers.
So how do you make a BYOD policy successful in your business?
Get joined up
Involve all elements of the business as early as possible; to get everyone's buy in to the idea. There are plenty of things to consider before implementation particularly around data ownership, policy revisions such as what happens to data if someone leaves, talent acquisition, employee expectation management and infrastructure. According to the Harvey Nash 2014 CIO survey, 44% of CIO's put BYOD high on their list of strategic priorities, so it clearly continues to be seen as an important initiative for larger businesses.
BYOD can enter the back door in the form of 'shadow IT' with employees using their own phones to check emails, store information in the cloud and share documents on the go. Developing your own policy and security procedures for devices and data will ensure that confidential information remains secure. A robust mobile device management application will be required with the option to delete commercially sensitive information in the event of an employee leaving or losing their device.
Don't forget the full technology package
Smartphones and tablets are the first devices that spring to mind in relation to BYOD. However people require a wider range of technology to work as productively as possible when out of the office. Portable printers and scanners empower employees to make the most of 'dead' travel time when working on the move, particularly in the areas of FFA (Field Force Automation) and SFA (Sales Force Automation).
For more information on technology to support agile working visit www.brother.co.uk/mobile-workforce
Phil Jones, MD Brother UK