The growing ubiquity of computing devices, whether it is a home computer or a personal smartphone, means that more and more staff are using their personal devices to do work. This now common phenomenon often goes by the shorthand BYOD (Bring Your Own Device).
It is important for nonprofit organizations to take a deliberate approach to integrating the inevitable use of personal devices with the overall IT strategy. Developing and implementing policies that specify employee responsibilities and boundaries is key to successful ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) work arrangements.
Neglecting to develop a deliberate policy opens up the organization to unnecessary legal, financial and information security risks. How will you ensure your files are secure on a device that’s leaving the office? Who is responsible for any damage to a device, whether it belongs to the company or the staff person? These and more questions must be addressed in your policy.
While every organization should be mindful of the risks, there are also a variety of benefits that a well crafted BYOD policy can create for the organization. Most staff are willing and eager to adopt this type of work practice because it allows them to work more flexibly. Costs to the organization can be low – if your team brings their own cell phones with work email set up on those devices, your organization doesn’t need to spend the money on new devices.
In June, we offered a webinar (don’t worry – if you missed it, the recording and slides can be found here) for nonprofit managers looking to develop and effectively implement a BYOD strategy for their organizations. During this webinar, we highlighted the initial steps for your organization, including taking inventory of data, identifying work roles, and listing benefits and risks to be considered in order to ensure that there are pre-developed solutions should expected problems arise.
Many of our attendees asked for a sample device policy template to help get the conversation started within their offices. Click here to download that sample device policy template to help get you started with your non-profit’s BYOD strategy. Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to BYOD, and so this document is meant to be a helpful starting point for building your own policy. Here are some additional tips to consider as you draft and tweak your BYOD policy.