Chris Gabriel argues that businesses will, sooner or later, be forced to embrace BYOD and offers a series of tips for anyone preparing the ground for a productive, collaborative, yet secure BYOD environment.
In the post PC era, many people who work in an office expect the freedom to work and collaborate using his or her own mobile device. Work is no longer a place but an activity, so workers expect anytime, anywhere access to their workplace using the device and the applications they know and trust.
In short, wherever people go, they expect their workplace to go with them.
This is good for business—it increases productivity and job satisfaction. It also accelerates communication and collaboration among employees, customers and partners. And let’s face it, the scale of smartphone and tablet adoption these days probably means we’re past the point of no return when it comes to simply banning people from using their own devices.
The bottom line is that few businesses have a choice. Sooner or later, they are going to be forced to adapt their network, security and policies and embrace the BYOD influx. They will also have to prepare for mobile application management, mobile content management and mobile collaboration.
The time to prepare is now, so here are some guidelines to help make sure you cover all the bases:
- Conduct a wireless site survey to ensure the coverage you need is in place.
- Enhance network access with hardware and policies that allow you to manage different devices and circumstances.
- Assess your BYOD readiness - this also helps you develop a BYOD strategy.
- Design your BYOD solution based on industry best-practice and validated architectures.
- Acquire the necessary tools for enhanced performance, interference protection and wireless management.
- Apply network access controls and security to consistently enforce context-based policies across wireless and wired networks, including disallowing certain applications and functions.
- Gain the ability to secure and manage mobile apps, documents and devices even when devices function outside the network.
Call it BYOD or call it mobility, but one thing is for sure. It is here to stay, so every business will have to adapt in the end.