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How to avoid BYOD disasters

Colin Neagle | March 12, 2013
As employees and their devices came back to school, they often brought viruses with them.

Although many IT departments prefer a partial wipe, which provides the ability to delete only corporate data, Bauer says the company decided on a full wipe because employees often took photos to save information written on whiteboards or projected on-screen during presentations. In that case, a partial wipe was likely to leave sensitive information on a lost device.

Bauer's case is a unique one, but it speaks to the importance of communication when crafting a BYOD initiative. Every business is different, and will need to address mobility in its own way. Especially when dealing with employees' personal property, communication and feedback are essential to a successful rollout. When addressing BYOD, the IT department can't be afraid to adjust its role in the organization, Rege says.

"Suddenly saying 'I'm going to give users more freedom, I'm going to focus on education and communication,' it doesn't come naturally for all IT departments," he says. "I know that we have seen some IT departments struggle because they just don't know where to draw the line and where not to draw the line. They just grew up in a world where that line was kind of clear."

Indeed, Walls says the BYOD initiative was an opportunity for his IT department to work across the organization in a way he never has before. A mutual relationship with IT, which may not have existed in the pre-BYOD world, is imperative to keeping other parts of an organization from suffering the unintended consequences of the mobile workforce.

"That's why awareness, user training, communication is so important. I can't stress that enough," Walls says. "This is the first opportunity professionally that I've had to implement that kind of strategy, and I think it's way more effective than anything else that I've tried in any other environment."

 

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