BYOD was once a buzzword coined to describe the increase of end-user owned devices entering the workplace and accessing corporate networks and applications. However, there are now a lot more smart mobile devices on the network which are running more bandwidth-intensive applications, than ever before. This is only set to increase according to IDC who predict that 79 per cent of mobile devices in the enterprise will be "employee liable" by 2017.
Having a BYOD strategy is too invaluable to be cast aside, yet it still presents a number of challenges to IT managers, who need to ensure the security and integrity of their corporate resources and data. But at the same time they need to allow multiple users, including guests and employees, the flexibility they demand for using different devices, whether corporate-issued or part of the BYOD trend.
The perfect BYOD roll-out needs to simplify the process of enabling the visibility and control required to tackle mobility management. By taking the following steps into account, IT managers can best prepare for the influx of devices entering their workplace.
- Devices need to be enterprise ready – Enterprise-class access needs to be delivered to both managed and unmanaged devices. The first step for a network administrator is to figure out how to securely connect and monitor all devices, including consumer-grade, to ensure they are working at full performance.
- Your network solution must be service-aware – The next challenge is to manage usage on the network. Enabling BYOD and company issued consumer devices in the workplace will mean that employees will want to use their own device to connect to network resources and services, such as printing and projecting. It is important to have a truly service-aware network solution which can scale up and down at any time, depending on the number of devices interacting with resources.
- Prepare for expansion – As many of the devices entering the network are designed for consumer use at home, high battery life is a priority ahead of the need for strong Wi-Fi transmission. This is unlikely to change in the near future and so enterprises need to take the high-density deployment and troubleshooting into account to ensure they have the adequate functionality to deal with the ever-expanding load on this struggling spectrum.
- Accommodate the next big trend – The recent launch of the Apple iWatch is yet another example of wearable technology hitting the mainstream. Although this presents interesting opportunities for IT managers and employees alike, it also increases the types of devices that enterprises need to prepare for Wear Your Own Device will undoubtedly become commonplace in the next few years and so the Wi-Fi network needs to be prepared.
Employees will want to continue to bring their own devices into the workplace and so IT managers need to ensure they prepare for this, future-proofing their Wi-Fi and mobile device management strategy.
The lesson we've all learned in the last four years is that mobile will continue to evolve and adapt and while we are delivering better results, more productive user experiences and adding to the bottom line, when it comes to infrastructure there are still areas that need to be addressed.
At IP EXPO Europe's Theatre: Wireless & Mobile on Wednesday 8th at 11:00am, Phil Keeley, Principal SE, Aerohive will be discussing what's next for BYOOD. The seminar will also cover what the new 802.11ac standard (Gigabit Wi-Fi) really means for organisations and how they should approach adoption of next-generation mobile networking. Aerohive is also exhibiting at stand D10. Register for IP EXPO now!
Phil Keeley is principal SE at Aerohive Networks