What is BYOD (Bring your own device)?

BYOD or bring your own device is a system followed in organizations whereby employee-owned mobile devices being used for personal needs double up as work devices. In other words, employees can use their own smartphones, tablets, and laptops to connect to the organization's internal network and access corporate data. These devices can also be interfaced with other organization-owned devices as employees go about their work. The BYOD system may also be referred to as BYOT (bring your own technology), BYOPC (bring your own personal computer), or BYOP (bring your own phone).    

BYOD Management

BYOD is one of the core concepts of consumerization of IT. As the number of organizations embracing BYOD is increasing, bring your own device management or BYOD management is becoming vital and is given equal importance as the management of enterprise-owned devices. In some cases, these devices are approved by the organization before they are used for work. However, when this is not the case, BYOD can give rise to hidden security threats or what is known as shadow IT. Shadow IT refers to the use of apps, information systems, software, and hardware which are not sanctioned by the organization. As the same devices are used to access corporate data, ensuring data security becomes a major concern in BYOD setups. In order to simplify the management and enable employees to securely access corporate data, organizations are deploying mobile device management solutions.

Advantages of a BYOD setup

  • No learning curve: As the employees are already used to the devices, there is absolutely no learning curve and they can start work immediately. This improves employee satisfaction and efficiency.
  • Remote access to corporate data: With personal devices, employees have the option of working from anywhere and at anytime which helps improve work productivity.
  • Cost-efficient: As employees bring in their own devices, enterprises need not purchase additional ones.

Although the BYOD strategy has several benefits, organizations are faced with certain challenges in implementing and managing it.

Challenges in BYOD Management

  • Security: As the corporate apps and data exist along with personal apps and data, there are high chances of data loss or unauthorized data sharing.
  • Loss of device: Unlike corporate devices which are bound to be within the organization’s premises, employee’s devices are carried out of the organization’s premises and can be easily stolen or misplaced. This makes them more vulnerable to unauthorized access.
  • Device Disparity: In case of corporate-owned devices, most of them are manufactured by a single OEM or a couple of them. However, this gets complicated in a BYOD setup, as different types of devices from multiple OEMs need to managed.
  • Privacy: From the perspective of the employees, the enterprise taking control of their devices in order to manage the corporate data present within, can be considered as an infringement on their privacy.

These challenges can be overcome by deploying an effective BYOD solution. Mobile Device Manager Plus (MDM), a robust mobile device management tool is ideal for managing and securing BYOD setups in SMBs.

Benefits of using Mobile Device Manager Plus as the BYOD Solution

  • Simple and quick onboarding
  • MDM provides appropriate onboarding methods to help in easy device enrollment. The IT admin needs to send an enrollment invite via e-mail or SMS and the employees can follow the instructions to enroll their devices within minutes. This BYOD solution ensures that the user is authenticated before onboarding the user's device. Authentication is done using the Active Directory (AD) credentials of the employee or simply using a one-time password (OTP) or both. Yet another option is the self-enrollment method, where employees can enroll their devices by accessing the enrollment link from the organization's public forum/ self-service portal. Further, as MDM can handle device disparity, multiple platforms (iOS, macOS, tvOS, Android, Windows 10, and Chrome OS) and multiple device types (smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops) can be managed effortlessly from a single console.

  • Efficient management of personal devices
  • In organizations which have a mix of corporate and personal devices being used, the IT admins need to configure separate set of policies for each category. This can become cumbersome when dealing with a large number of devices. MDM allows clustering of personal devices into groups after which specific policies and apps can be distributed easily. Thus a clear segregation between the management of personal and corporate devices is ensured. Once the policy is associated, any time a personal device is brought under management, the IT admin simply needs to add the the device to the group and all the policies will get applied on it automatically. In case the employee has moved to a different department the device can be moved to a different group pertaining to the department, which automatically revokes the policies previously applied and implements the new ones on the device.

  • Managing only corporate data
  • MDM permits containerization of corporate data on the devices. The logical container separates the corporate data from the personal data. There is no possibility of a privacy breach as the IT admin will have no control over the personal data. Enterprises can only manage the corporate space while ensuring there is no unauthorized access/sharing of corporate data. Thus, using MDM as the BYOD solution permits both personal and corporate data to co-exist on devices. Furthermore, the corporate data is encrypted and stored in the containers to ensure security. Learn more about containerization in Android and containerization in iOS devices.

    BYOD solution for management of personal devices by creating logical containers

  • Pre-configuring policies
  • Basic configurations such as for Wi-Fi, E-mail, Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) etc, can be pre-set on the devices using the MDM. This saves time and helps improve work productivity of employees. Device restrictions can also be applied to ensure secure access to corporate data and/or to ensure devices adhere to certain organizational security standards.

  • Managing corporate apps
  • An App Repository can be created within MDM that contains the required set of apps to be installed on the employee's devices. Store apps (Android, iOS, Windows 10, Chrome OS) and even in-house (enterprise apps) that are not available for public download on the Internet can be made available to the employees by distributing them using the MDM. Settings and permissions for the apps can be pre-configured (supported for iOS, Android and Windows 10), thereby making them ready to use on installation with minimal user intervention.

    MDM also integrates with Android Enterprise (also referred to as Managed Google Play), Apple Business Manager (previously known as Apple Volume Purchase Program), Windows Business Store, and Chrome Web Store to ensure that apps can be silently installed/ updated/ uninstalled without any user intervention. For this, the devices need to be Supervised in the case of iOS and provisioned as Device Owner in the case of Android.

  • Device maintenance
  • For effective BYOD management, the devices can be scanned periodically to fetch basic device data such as OS version, apps installed, etc., in order to ensure the devices accessing corporate data adhere to organization compliance standards. In case a device is running an outdated OS version, the OS can be updated automatically or even scheduled to take place at a specific time, using the MDM. This ensures that the OS updates do not interrupt the work hours of the users, helping them to be more productive.

    As the devices are handy and portable, there are high chances of them being lost/stolen/misplaced. In such a situation, IT admins can use MDM to remotely lock the device to prevent unauthorized data access and also fetch its location. In case the device has been misplaced within the organization's premises, a remote alarm can be triggered on the devices to help retrieve it. In case the device is lost/stolen, Lost Mode can be enabled on the device which will automatically lock it down. The locked device screen can be configured to show a phone number, a call button, and a customized message to make it easier for anyone finding the device to contact its rightful owner and return it. To ensure device cannot be unlocked from Lost Mode by providing the device passcode, the MDM provides the option of resetting the passcode. Lastly, the IT admin can choose to wipe the device to prevent misuse of data.

    BYOD solution for management of lost devices using Lost Mode

    Further, in case the employee encounters an issue on the device while not being in the organization's premises, the IT admin can remotely troubleshoot the device by viewing the device screen or controlling it. To ensure user is fully aware of this, MDM prompts the user to accept a remote session or in case of iOS, the employee needs to perform certain functions on the device to initiate a session.

    When an employee leaves the organization, the device can be deprovisioned automatically which will wipe the corporate data while retaining the personal data.

BYOD solution for remotely controlling devices


The BYOD solution is available in both Cloud and On-Premises. Try Mobile Device Manager Plus today and avail a 30-day free trial!