As smart technology continues to grow in indispensability, many business owners are beginning to implement “Bring Your Own Device” policies (BYOD). While, for many businesses, the debate over the effectiveness of such policies is still raging, others assert the BYOD improves workflow, reduces business overheads, and boosts morale. If you think that a BYOD policy could have a positive effect on your workplace, read on to learn how to go BYOD in five easy steps.

1)BYOD Training: Don’t take it for granted that your employees will handle your BYOD policy the way you want them to. To avoid both intentional and unintentional violations, create a mandatory BYOD training course for your business. This course ought to cover the limitations of device usage, and ensure that all employees are able to easily and efficiently access your business network. At the conclusion of BYOD training, employees should be required to sign a BYOD policy.

2) Misuse Consequences: With any BYOD policy, it’s important to implement misuse consequences. Many businesses use a strike system, while others consider BYOD violations grounds for employment termination. Whatever your misuse policy, be sure that you stick to it. If you repeatedly let violations slide, you risk data security breaches, and cultivate an unprofessional, unproductive workplace.

3)Security: For many businesses, new security measures to prevent the sharing of sensitive data are essential prior to BYOD policy implementation. If inappropriate sharing of information gathered from data on your network could be detrimental to your business, hire an experienced security team. If top-level security is less of a concern for your business, enterprise mobility software may be sufficient.

4) Device Support: If aspects of your virtual network are incompatible with select devices, make the necessary adjustments to ensure that all of your BYOD employees are on a level playing field. If your employees consistently experience difficulties in utilizing select devices, your BYOD system will impede workflow rather than optimize it. You may also need to hire additional IT support specialists, to provide device-specific networking solutions when problems arise.

5) Set Goals: Mobile device management software and BYOD security protocols are still evolving, so create management and output goals that reflect the far-reaching potential of your BYOD policy. Be sure to monitor changes in productivity, employee morale, and workflow efficiency through analysis software and staff feedback. If your BYOD policy appears to be having an adverse effect on employee performance, give it time. The novelty of personal device usage at work can cause some initial workflow disturbance, but  generally produces positive results in the long term.

Is Going BYOD Right for My Business?

BYOD policies are cost-efficient, and work effectively for small business owners who couldn’t otherwise afford to cover the cost of smart technology in the workplace. Whether BYOD is the right choice for your business depends largely upon the nature of your service/product. If security is a major concern for you, then it may be best to hold off on BYOD until practices are more standardized, regulated, and secure. Growing businesses stand to gain the most from BYOD, as a good BYOD policy ensures the presence of workflow-optimizing technology in the workplace. BYOD also enables small businesses to employ remote workers, and improve employee mobility. As smart technology evolves, BYOD policies will likely become an integral part of every business, so if you’re not ready to make the switch yet, it may be time to start preparing.