Choose Your Own Device and the Life Sciences Industry

January 8, 2020

The life sciences industry constantly produces cutting-edge, innovative solutions to help patients live longer, healthier lives. But when it comes to mobile technologies (a cutting-edge field in and of itself), life sciences firms still struggle with the same issues as other companies that aren’t as innovative. Mobile devices present opportunities as well as challenges. Certain mobile technology policies will work better than others. This post discusses the benefits, risks and challenges, and best practices of choose-your-own device (CYOD).


CYOD’s Benefits

CYOD aims to give IT departments more control over employee mobile devices than a bring-your-own device (BYOD) policy. Here’s how CYOD works: the company compiles a list of approved mobile devices and supplies them to employees.

For companies in the life sciences industry, there are three clear advantages to CYOD: manageability, security, and regulatory compliance. IT departments find CYOD enables staffers to better manage and support employee mobile devices. Since IT team members compile the approved device list, they select devices they know they can support. They’re no longer in the position of having to manage a wide variety of devices, platforms, and operating systems with which they might be completely unfamiliar.

CYOD ensures greater security for the company, too. Not all mobile devices are created equal when it comes to security; some protect data better than others. Under a CYOD policy, the IT department picks the most secure devices possible. Regulatory compliance is closely linked to security. The life science industry faces strict regulations about confidential patient data. Using mobile devices with higher security standards means that criminals and fraudsters have a more difficult time accessing this information.

What are CYOD’s Risks and Challenges?

There are downsides to Choose-Your-Own-Device in life sciences as well.

The biggest downside is a lack of employee buy-in to a CYOD policy. Employees love BYOD because it gives them the freedom to use the device they want at work. Some staffers might resent options for technology being imposed from on high, and they may find ways around the policy.

Violating a CYOD policy becomes especially problematic when members of the company’s upper echelons are the ones who are doing it. The rank-and-file will think that the policy only applies to certain employees, and morale will drop.

CYOD Best Practices

Choose-Your-Own-Device policies within life sciences firms can overcome these challenges if the people creating the policy follow a few best practices.

Firstly, employees are more likely to adhere to a policy if they feel as though they’ve made their voices heard during the process. Decision makers should consult employees regarding their favorite devices. They must make employees aware not all suggestions will be heeded, but at least they’ll listen.

Secondly, policy enforcement must be consistent. Employees should see that when it comes to Choose-Your-Own-Device, the firm treats everyone equally. A third best practice is educating every employee about the importance of data security and mobile devices. When employees understand why these principles matter, they’ll be more likely to abide by the rules.