How to keep control of your BYOD usage

A Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy has long been a popular option for organisations and employees alike. Indeed, with much of the workforce now home-based, many enterprises will be seeing a new spike in the number of users electing to use their own devices as part of their daily job.

This approach makes a great deal of sense. Not only does it help organisations reduce CAPEX, BYOD often leads to happier, more satisfied employees. Afterall, they’ve picked the tool for the task at hand, all the organisation needs to do is provide the environment for them to do it in.

Yet here lies the tricky part.

In reality, different employees will be using different operating systems. Likewise, they’ll probably have their own personal portfolios of software and cloud-based solutions, and will be making use of various security tools. Such a diversified software and hardware estate can soon become a tangled mess, leaving internal IT teams overstretched and stressed as they attempt to juggle a multitude of support requests about non-standard issues.

If an organisation can’t keep track of – not to mention, deal with – all these individual issues the repercussions can be far-reaching. For example, what if a user’s hardware fails so they can’t work from home anymore? What if someone unwittingly clicks on a malicious link on their phone browser and provide hackers with open access to your entire corporate network? What happens if employees start to use unvetted cloud services that might put your organisation in breach of data protection legislation? Tackling these challenges – and the many more that are associated with BYOD usage – is no mean feat.

One of the most effective ways of dealing with and resolving these kinds of issue is by deploying a robust, dynamic and virtual service desk solution, which is managed by external experts. By extending their talent pools in this way, organisations can gain access to the knowledge and experience required to field and solve a wide variety of requests, all without the hassle or expense of adding to their internal headcount.

By utilising a service desk to log, track and monitor issues, organisations are in a far better position to prioritise, deal with and ultimately resolve support requests, ensuring that their staff can always work as efficiently as possible. Crucially, this also removes many of the risks associated with a BYOD policy, particularly around security, compliance, and the use of services from unauthorised providers.

However, there is one further – critical – advantage. A service desk can also play an active role in ensuring your licensing usage matches your entitlement, and will act as your ‘eyes and ears’ to ensure that’s you are not spending money of software and services that employees have downloaded to their devices, but rarely use. In essence, not only does a Service Desk support a BYOD policy, it supports a wider ITAM strategy too.

Author: Chris Lewis, Global Head of Marketing, Livingstone Group