3 ways you can avoid BYOD policy ennui

December 1, 20174 Minute Read

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Since we’re looking 2018 in the face at this point, we’re going to assume you’re like most modern organizations and have adopted a BYOD policy. Maybe it’s even been a few years since you instituted one, and it’s working—but not that well. Managing BYOD policies can feel draining—and if it’s not going particularly well, it might feel so boring that it’ll lead to burnout.

What’s worse, your employees probably hate it, too. BYOD policies were sold as a dream to both sides—employees and the IT department—but, ultimately, it takes a lot of time and effort to manage these policies effectively. As a result, policies end up presenting a crippling amount of overly strict rules, frustrating everyone involved.

That said, BYOD doesn’t have to be awful. Modern tooling and better policies can change the game entirely and actually make you enjoy looking after even the most complicated schemes. Here are some quick tips to get your BYOD mojo back.

1. Simplify your tooling

Many BYOD policies were launched in the heyday of mobile device management and weren’t especially optimized for how users acted in the real world. What does that mean for you and your IT team? It’s probably time to reevaluate your tooling, so why not look for something that actually helps make your work easier?

In the last few years, VMware’s AirWatch, a cloud BYOD tool, has experienced massive popularity thanks to its simplicity for both users and the IT department. Others, like Microsoft’s Intune and Cisco’s Meraki, have done the same, while reducing complexity for end users when it comes to onboarding personal devices onto the device management platform.

Using tools that are simpler—and less frustrating—for your IT department doesn’t sound like it would make a huge impact, but making people’s jobs easier is directly tied to happiness and productivity at work. Once you can rely on an effective BYOD solution, you can focus on other, more strategic IT initiatives instead.

2. Clean up those policies

Many corporate BYOD policies are extremely complicated—particularly when it comes to wording. Complicated or scary wording that fails to clearly guide users on why it’s important for both them and the company to follow the policy is the easiest way to ensure users ignore it entirely.

To overcome this challenge, you can simply tidy up the policy’s language and make it something actual humans can read and comprehend—without all the unnecessary tech jargon. Yes, you can still emphasize how serious the rules are, but if you can succinctly explain why people should let you control their devices in the first place, they’re more likely to be on board with you actually doing it.

It sounds like a mammoth task, but it might not be as bad as you think in practice. If you simplify your BYOD policy into something that actually works—something that explains each tenet of the system and why IT needs access to your device—it’ll be way easier to win over your users in the long run.

3. Streamline everything

The biggest problem with bad BYOD policies is that it can lead to BYOD backlash. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that BYOD came about because people wanted to use slick consumer technology in the workplace—like their own phones instead of corporate-issued devices. Employees are accustomed to newer technology and things “just working,” so when they’re forced to deal with less than stellar tech, they can get easily frustrated and often turn to their own means of completing work—usually on personal devices, which they’re more comfortable using.

What can you do to combat this type of shadow IT? Get out of the user’s way. This applies to many areas covered by BYOD policies, but the enrolling process is the perfect place to start. Even with many modern tools, enrolling a device can feel cumbersome and time-consuming—the exact opposite of that “just works” mantra everyone loves. Modern tools make it easier, with one-step solutions that get the user onboard and explain everything to them all at once, so they can get on with their day.

If you can change your mindset from “the IT department vs. the users,” you can unlock a BYOD goldmine. Users want to work with you as much as you want to protect the business. If you can make BYOD easier for everyone, it’ll become a resounding success. Say goodbye to cumbersome exercises and boring policies, and get your team and users excited about BYOD possibilities.

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