Ready to welcome BYOD in your business? You should be - your employees are already bringing their own devices onto your network, with or without your policy.

The employee-driven 'bring your own device' (BYOD) to work trend is an extension of the Personal Cloud, where everything is available from anywhere, on any device. You’ve seen it in action. Emails are being replaced by instant messages. Your sales reps are clamoring for iPads, not slide projectors. And why schedule a meeting when you can FaceTime?

By bringing user devices onto enterprise networks, we’ve seen growing bandwidth and security concerns, together with a shift towards service models that are no longer device-centric, but user-centric. The impact on your network is huge – but so are the rewards.

OpenTouch - Pitchforks and Torches

What is BYOD?

Connecting a personal device to a corporate network – referred to as “bring your own device” (or “BYOD”) – has many benefits for employees. Users now have their work email, sales tools, contact lists and all the professional applications they need at their fingertips – it’s like being able to access the office 24/7. They enjoy the convenience and availability of anytime access, the freedom of a single device, plus the flexibility to work from home, from a client location, or on the move.

But it also puts significant pressure on your organization. Enterprise IT departments need to decide how they are going to tackle this trend and the unique challenges and risks it poses.

BYOD at a glance:

  • Enterprise IT departments need robust BYOD strategies to protect against security breaches, viruses and malware
  • Network infrastructure must support more devices, rich applications, and high bandwidth demands
  • BYOD is going nowhere; it’s becoming the Internet of Things. From smartphones to connected printers, cameras and machinery – this is an opportunity to prepare for IoT

Trying to stand in the path of consumerized mobility is likely to be a damaging and futile exercise.

Richard Absalom, Analyst, Ovum

What must IT consider?

Security risks

Employee-owned devices are the weakest link when it comes to security. Most do not have anti-virus protection or an up-to-date firewall, making them prone to attacks and malware. BYOD policies must provide comprehensive security

Data management and security

Enterprise data can be downloaded and stored on personal devices, compromising IT control over critical, confidential information – if the device is lost or stolen, sensitive business data can fall into the wrong hands.

BYODTX-Bring Your Own Device To (Work, School, etc.)

Mixing personal and business data

Access to corporate data must be privilege-based and employees need to be instructed on safe practices for personal use within corporate networks.

Network/application performance

If an application can’t be used across devices with a fast and consistent experience, users get frustrated and discard it. Excellent user experience is key to IT maintaining control over the adoption and use of business applications.

What does BYOD mean for enterprise infrastructures?

When employees use their own smartphones and tablets on the corporate network, it creates unpredictable bandwidth use and increases security risks. Since IT can no longer control all users’ devices, application delivery improvements must now be done in the network — and preferably automatically.

The enterprise network must transform to become more intelligent, intuitive and adaptive; its entire architecture must evolve. A more dynamic architecture enables new application and traffic delivery models, balancing performance with productivity on every device.

What are the benefits of BYOD?

Enterprise Comms in the Age of Smartphone and Tablets-Craig Walker

  • CEOs say: Employees become more available, productive and satisfied, reducing staff turnover.
  • CFOs say: BYOD provides a path to funding new initiatives while leveraging existing investments, reducing CAPEX and TCO.
  • CIOs say: Service delivery is more agile and innovation pathways open up, reducing hardware and maintenance costs.
  • Managers say: BYOD enables access to rich mobile services and apps for higher productivity.
  • Employees say: User-centric experience is important for long-lasting adoption, collaboration and ROI.

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