4 lessons from successful BYOD programs

Many companies are starting BYOD programs for the first time and have some work to do to iron out the kinks. Here are some lessons they can learn from organizations that have performed successful BYOD rollouts: 

1. Use 2 networks

The recent Interop IT conference in New York City faced the problem of how to allow thousands of attendees to easily connect to its wireless networks while still protecting security. Their solution was to create a system with two SSIDs, according to Network World. One was an open network used only to provide devices with an authentication application. That app was then used to connect to the secured main network.

2. Run BYOD as managed service

Many businesses are using IT outsourcing providers for help with different parts of their IT infrastructure, and they can now do so with BYOD. That’s what the city of Minneapolis has done to manage employees’ personal devices, according to CIO Insight. The city has outsourced its mobile device support, in much the same way as it had already outsourced support for desktops.

3. Explain BYOD to management

Though it’s a buzz word in tech circles, BYOD is a new concept and users may not be familiar with it. That’s one lesson learned by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission during a recent BYOD pilot project. IT must explain the concept to people in other areas of the company — especially senior leadership. They’re the ones who will have to explain to users their rights and responsibilities if they participate in a BYOD program, so they’ll need to understand what the company is getting into.

4. Let users support themselves

One reason users want to bring their own devices to work is that they understand how they work and enjoy tinkering with them. IT departments can use that to their advantage by allowing users with popular devices to create their own support networks. For example, at this year’s Interop Las Vegas conference, Michael Smith of Cisco explained how his company set up an online wiki page for Apple users to collaborate on support documents and share tricks and ideas.

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