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GUEST BLOG: BYOD can be a win-win

Ennio Carboni | July 11, 2013
Overcoming the top 10 hidden network costs of BYOD

BYOD is the latest trend that shows how far IT has come in understanding and responding to what employees want and need to be productive. While the mobile workforce can accelerate productivity, because BYOD signals a fundamental shift, costs can add up. According to Aberdeen, enterprises spend an extra $170,000 per year to deploy 1,000 mobile devices via BYOD. A typical BYOD model costs 33 percent more than the traditional corporate-wireless model.

Here are 10 key factors to consider when implementing BYOD in your office:

#1. Don't Forget About Wireless Bandwidth

As desks become cluttered with more gadgets, bandwidth is a hot commodity. Without performance monitoring tools, employees are forced to 'grin and bear' the hassle of slower networks. Curb this before your inbox is flooded with complaints by proactively monitoring network bandwidth.

#2. BYOD = Another Security Gap

Security issues raise the biggest red flag for BYOD. Data loss, breaches, lost and stolen devices - the list goes on. Too often, the enterprise only thinks about the crisis plan post-breach - rather than investing in the tools needed to prevent mishaps. Shift away from a reactive approach because cleanup could be costly - the average cost of a data breach in 2011 was $5.5 million.

#3. Who is Really a Threat Anyhow?

How many fires do you put out every day? It's exhausting. Add another with BYOD. Imagine the false alarms IT faces when deciding who is actually up to no good. There's a big difference between a corporate neighbour and a van in the parking lot. Rogue devices may be unknown to the network, but they aren't always a threat. Companies with the ability to exclude who isn't a threat can streamline the monitoring of suspicious network access.

#4. Funding the Help Desk

When enterprises deploy BYOD, the help desk is expected to service multiple devices and software platforms. While the IT department doesn't control the software, devices or policies, employees need working phones to be productive and will turn to IT for help - regardless of whether IT has the time or resources to provide the extra support. The solution: regardless of whether you deploy BYOD or not, make sure the IT team has the resources to help with devices.

#5. Snapshots Don't Show the Whole Picture

Can you track and store who accessed your networks, when and where via wireless? Historical data has bigger implications than you think, especially when it comes to compliance and security. It's important to capture real-time data, but also to log user behaviour over time.

#6. The Mobile Worker

Coffee shops, airports and anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection are the new 'offices.' This is one of the strongest BYOD drivers, but new mobility presents more challenges. Unsecured access points and forgotten application updates puts data at risk and can harm the network. The solution: make sure you have clear guidelines to ensure secure mobile access, and resources in place to govern and monitor mobile workers.


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