Taking BYOD from the cubicle to the conference room

Bring-your-own-device programs are obviously not a passing fad, and most organizations have now embraced them to some degree. The reasons are plentiful and obvious to those companies: increased productivity, lower IT costs and improved employee morale, to name a few.

The latest trend is BYOD in the meeting room, where employees find that their mobile devices are making meetings more productive, or at the least, more enjoyable. That is the take from a recent article at Enterprise Apps Tech, which looked at how BYOD is spreading from the cubicle to the conference room.

"There are many ways that businesses can make their meetings more effective and productive," the article notes. "Aside from the obvious factors that contribute to a meeting's success, such as a concise and well-structured agenda, and considered support materials, one of the most important elements enabling meetings to run more smoothly is technology. From this perspective, the BYOD trend could provide the most straightforward way to boost efficiency in the meeting room."

The article offers tips on how to most effectively use BYOD to improve the quality of meetings:

Have an official policy – Before getting too specific to conference room practices, the article says a company should first have a general BYOD policy in place. The policy should be clearly communicated to employees. "Employers still need to demonstrate a degree of caution when it comes to BYOD and guidelines on how and when the devices can be used should be precise," the article notes.

Device ownership – A growing number of companies prefer to issue their own devices for a BYOD program, which enables IT to control which devices are used, what apps reside on them and how they are secured. If employees provide their own mobile devices, the company should invest in a mobile device management tool. "The other benefit is economical, with the company not having to foot the bill for a new batch of devices every few years, and not having to account for faulty or damaged equipment," the article points out.

Safe and sound – The program should clearly outline what data employees can store on their devices. The company should also have safeguards in place to lock down a device in the event of loss or theft. "Best practice should also be encouraged, such as ensuring strong passwords and encryption programmes are used to secure all personal and business devices and discouraging staff from connecting to public Wi-Fi," advises the article.

Communication and collaboration – Smart devices can improve collaboration options, including in the meeting room. "Whether the purpose of the session is to brainstorm a creative idea or to present a sales pitch, mobile technologies help it run more efficiently," the article says.

Information sharing – While BYOD can make screen sharing an obvious advantage in meetings, there are challenges due to the different types of devices employees might favor if they provide their own. "Selecting an appropriate wireless collaboration solution will bring all of the devices together regardless of the operating system," the article stresses.

The right tool for the job – The key to successfully bringing a BYOD program into the meeting room is investing in the right technology, the article says. "Ironically it is technical issues that are also one of the main factors holding back the effectiveness of meetings. Technologies must be fail-safe and easy-to-use to improve meeting room performance."

For more:
- check out the Enterprise Apps Tech article

Related Articles:
Special Report: Making BYOD work
Money talks: BYOD budgetary considerations
Security and legal ramifications of BYOD