Microsoft Surface and BYOD policies

One of the most popular technical devices of the past five years is the tablet. It started with Apple and devices that used the Android OS followed soon after. One system absent however was a Microsoft OS tablet. Earlier this summer, to much excitement from IT, Microsoft rectified this by announcing a new tablet that not only uses Windows 8 but is built by Microsoft.

Microsoft’s recently announced tablet, the Microsoft Surface should be appealing to many businesses, especially those with mobile employees. If it does what Microsoft says, the Pro version will enable companies to ditch laptops or even desktops.

When the Surface is released, you can pretty much guarantee that the early adopters of technology in your company will be itching to try it out at work. This poses an issue management should address before the Surface is released.

To properly integrate the Surface into your company, you or your management team will need to make sure that it is a good fit. Beyond that, it’s a good idea to create a general list of approved devices, with Surface included, that employees can use. This can then also be applied to employees who want to bring their own device (BYOD) to work.

Managers need to understand all the related threats involved with mobile devices. Employees will most likely use Surface for some personal tasks which could potentially put work related information at risk. To minimize this, you should encourage employees to only use company approved apps while setting access rights to more important documents.

Beyond this, you should take the time to learn how to use the tablet yourself and learn what it can and can’t do. You can also learn about any security features and other benefits. If you know about Surface, and employees see the example that you set, they’ll be more likely to stick to a defined BYOD policy.

Surface holds lots of promise for organizations and if implemented correctly, it could improve productivity or help encourage employees to stay connected longer. If you’re interested in Surface and would like to learn more about it, please contact us.

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