Top tips for embracing Choose Your Own Device (CYOD) in your organisation
Intercity’s recent research into attitudes towards technology in the workplace and its impact on productivity amongst both IT Managers and IT users, as detailed by our white paper ‘Do you know what you don’t know?’, revealed the popularity of Choose Your Own Device (CYOD).
CYOD is a mobile device management policy that allows employees to connect their choice of personal smartphones, computers or tablets to an organisation’s network. Devices can be used for both business and private use, with policies set centrally to manage usage.
When questioned about their Mobile Device Management (MDM) strategy, CYOD was popular amongst IT Managers. This is unsurprising, as the main advantages of CYOD is that it provides employees with the opportunity to choose devices they feel enhance their personal productivity, whilst enabling the IT team to have influence over device selection, data security and connectivity. The involvement of the IT team also offers greater visibility and control over costs.
Furthermore, with 72% of employees surveyed believing they should have more influence over the IT solutions they generally use for their job, giving IT users more choice over their devices is clearly essential for employee satisfaction too.
Therefore, for any organisation that chooses to embrace CYOD, how can they ensure that the policy will work for them? Here are some top tips:
1. Ensure open communication and education – Finding out what employees need and how the IT team can best facilitate device selection to boost business productivity is a process. The starting point is a needs analysis. Have an open and honest conversation with the employees or department that wants to adopt a new device or type of technology and establish the objectives they are trying to achieve. The IT team should determine the information and security requirements of the department. There may already be options that fit their needs. However, if not, the IT team should play a leading role in assessing technology to see if it meets business and IT defined needs or suggest better, more efficient or cost effective alternatives.
Both the IT team and employees need to communicate their specific challenges to enable shared learning and reach solutions that work at an employee, IT team and overall business level.
Embracing a culture of inclusiveness and employee involvement encourages productivity. When establishing a CYOD policy, utilise open communication methods from the outset such as internal and external workshops, conferences, training sessions and webinars to enhance levels of education.
2. Use IT champions – Savvy businesses are adopting the use of IT champions to bridge the divide that can exist between employees and the IT team, with these champions disseminating learning and best practice throughout the organisation.
3. Guide employees in their choices – Nowadays, many innovative IT teams are letting staff choose from a list of IT-approved devices, so employees can adopt the device/s that will work best for them. Often, this makes employees more productive, as it helps them access the technology they need to perform their roles to a higher level. The devices should be closely aligned to the demands of their roles and superior to what they could purchase themselves. The key difference is that the IT department has already conducted the right analysis and research into job roles and as such, they are recommending devices that are tailored to the requirements of the business and specific employee roles. By enhancing productivity in this way, the IT team can prove their value to an organisation.
4. Keep the CYOD policy on track – Maintaining an open dialogue between IT users and managers once the CYOD policy is in place is vital. Regular reviews and surveys should be utilised to check if chosen devices are still fit for purpose as business requirements evolve over time.