BYOD 101: The SMB owner’s starter guide

BYOD is a modern business acronym that stands for “bring your own device.” Today, most employees use their own mobile devices or laptops for work to some extent. Creating a solid BYOD plan can save your organization from security nightmares. Not sure where to begin? We can help. What follows is a simple guide to creating a BYOD policy.

Why is BYOD important?

When your employees connect to company resources from multiple devices, you need to secure important data. As of right now, only about 39% of businesses have BYOD policies. This is a worrying trend considering that people may be using their devices at your company without following any type of security protocol! Make sure to protect your business’ data by implementing such a policy and training your employees on how to stay safe with their own devices.

Important Factors to Include in Your Policy

Before you create your BYOD policy, you need to consider some important factors. The following factors will help secure your network and keep your plan relevant.

Security is not optional

Ensure that your employees follow security procedures, even on their own devices. Choose mandatory anti-virus and anti-spyware programs for any device that connects to your network. This protects not only their device but also company information and potentially your office networks.

Make it general for longevity

Putting specific devices in your policy means constant revisions as new devices come out. Keep your device list general but be specific about what your employees need to do with those devices. This means that your policy will last for as long as you need it to, which can save time and money in a small business!

Consult with your teams

Don’t let your IT department come up with a BYOD policy in a vacuum. Consult every department in the company. This will lead to a more comprehensive policy that considers many factors. When you consider everyone’s needs, the policy is less likely to leave unanswered questions.

Use the cloud for better security

If you let your team store sensitive data on their devices, it leaves it open to peeping eyes and hackers. Instead, use a cloud storage solution that protects your data from unauthorized access. Your employees can access the data from anywhere, and everyone stays a bit safer whether they are accessing company graphics, a CRM or other assets.

Use a VPN

Using a VPN protects data while it is in transit and is great for organizations who are following the above recommendation to use the cloud. A VPN is basically like a protective tunnel that encrypts data as your employees send information back and forth to your in-office network or the cloud. VPNs are a smart choice whether employees are working from home, using their own devices or traveling for business or pleasure.

Time to make a plan

Now you are ready to teach your employees how they should behave when using their own devices for work. Curious to learn more about BYOD policies? Contact your managed IT services provider to find out how they can help!


4 SMBs that can benefit from a custom mobile app

When it comes to selecting a gaming computer there are two options. Build a custom machine or purchase a pre-built model.

You don’t need a customized computer to play online games. But if you’re looking to optimize your gaming experience, a custom-built machine is the best way to get exactly what you want.

This same idea applies to businesses and custom mobile applications.

There are plenty of pre-designed apps that will likely work for your organization. And some of them, like Office 365, even allow for moderate customization.

But if it’s freedom you’re after, partnering with a professional to build an app for your business is the way to go.

“72% of SMB decision makers say that technology solutions can help them significantly improve business outcomes and/or run the business better.” – SMB Group

To show just how versatile a custom mobile app can be, we made a list of 4 SMBs that would benefit from one.

1. Schools

Keeping busy students and educators informed about important details and activity is a challenge many educational institutions struggle with. A custom mobile app can bolster school security while also keeping staff, students, and parents in-the-know about on-campus happenings.

Possible features:

  • School calendar
  • Secure access to grades and class schedules
  • Real-time campus activity updates for teachers and staff
  • A button students press if they feel unsafe, informing campus security of their location
  • Staff and administrator directory

2. Real Estate Firms

Realtors need access to local housing market data on the go. A mobile application can provide convenient, reliable access to the property, client and area information they need when and where they need it.

Possible features:

  • Directory of available for sale and rental listings
  • Mortgage loan and property tax calculator
  • Floor plan and space measurement aids
  • Map detailing school district boundaries and community demographics
  • Electronic document management and approvals

3. Homeowners’ Associations

HOAs are required to keep their residents informed about community issues, activities, and rules. A customized mobile application can help HOAs share relevant updates and encourage participation while giving residents access to basic community and local area information.

Possible features:

  • Secure resident directory
  • Real-time updates on critical community and safety issues like street closures and water leaks
  • Pool hours and cleaning schedule
  • Community events and schedule
  • Board meeting minutes and bylaws

4. Healthcare Practices

Thirty-minute doctor’s visits often aren’t enough time to gain a full picture of a patient’s condition. A mobile app can allow patients and doctors to exchange more data on health history, status, and symptoms, helping to better diagnose, manage and customize treatment.

“46% of healthcare professionals say they will introduce mobile apps into their practices over the next five years.” – Research Now Group

Possible features:

  • Heart rate and glucose reporting
  • Calorie, nutrient, and physical activity tracker
  • Symptom journals
  • Appointment, testing and refill requests
  • List of medications and their dosage

Creating a Custom Mobile App: Next Steps

The bottom line is, custom mobile apps can help a variety of SMBs increase efficiency, mobility, and productivity.

“To really move the needle on productivity, companies need custom mobile apps that empower people to perform critical processes anytime and anywhere.” – CDW

If you think your business would benefit from one, reach out. We’re confident we can design a custom mobile app that incorporates all of the features your business needs to tackle projects and increase customer satisfaction.

Related Blog: Top 3 Signs Your Business Needs a Custom App