Introduction

Bring Your Own Device or (BYOD) is certainly a hot topic and deservedly so. It’s also a confusing subject that should be well understood by business owners and leaders responsible for creating efficient and cost effective work environments. This whitepaper will explain what BYOD is and what you need to think about when implementing BYOD.

BYOD – What is it?

BYOD allows employees or users to bring their own computing devices into your network and gain access to corporate applications and the internet.

BYOD allows employees or users to bring their own computing devices into your network and gain access to corporate applications and the internet. Most corporate networks today only allow approved devices or they provide a device to a user.

With most people owing some sort of computing devices these days, they would like the ability to bring that device to work and use it. BYOD allows for this type of access for the employee’s or users of that network.

BYOD – What do you need to consider?

BYOD is not something that you can just purchase and call it a day. It takes careful planning and design to make is successful. Listed below are a few items to consider

Wireless Connectivity

With a majority of today devices only having wireless, you need to have a robust wireless network. This robust wireless network needs to be able to determine who is allowed on and who is not allowed on.

You also need to consider how many devices you have and plan for the correct capacity. Most wireless networks where not designed for BYOD and will not be able to hold up to the load. Your wireless network will go from a nice to have to a must have and you will need to plan it correctly.

Some wireless vendors are better than others and make sure you are getting a solution that has some sort of central control along with the ability to quickly make changes.

Also don’t forget about network wiring needed to connect your access points to the network. You will also need to consider how to power the access points. Most Ethernet switches have some sort of POE build into them and you need to consider this. These are all added costs to the wireless project

Policies and Procedures

Policies and procedures are often overlooked but should be a first step. You need to define what you are going to allow and how you are going to allow it.

Types of devices you support. Certain devices just don’t work well or may not have a client to access your applications; you want to make this clear up front.

Help Desk. You do not want to provide helpdesk support for various consumer devices. You need to define what will and will not be supported.

Anti-Virus, security updates, etc. This is also something you want to have defined. You will want to make sure that they are patching and also have some sort of Ant-Virus. If they are not compliant, you have the ability to remove them from the network.

Expense reimbursement. Expenses are another important issue that most do not consider. Are you going to reimburse or give them a stipend for using their own device? If you are, you want to define the parameters of what this will look like.

Access to Applications

The next question you have to answer is how are you going to allow access to applications?

If you are going to allow tablets and Apple computers such as MAC’s, will your applications run on them?

Numerous solutions exist to allow access to your applications from the various BYOD devices.

Questions to Consider for BYOD

  • Do we have cross-platform (iOS, Windows Mobile, and Android) knowledge, tools, and apps.
  • What applications should we deploy—email, time and expense management, corporate directories, CRM?
  • What types of users will be provided with BYOD devices? Will we provide them to everyone, or a select group that has a greater need for mobility
  • What levels of access to applications and services will be afforded to each group of users
  • How can we manage our mobile deployment in a BYOD world without risking sensitive data or intruding on employee’s rights to privacy on devices they own?

BYOD – IPAD Adoption Rates

good-ipad-activationThis Image shows the IPAD activations from January to March 2012

  • Financial services -45%
  • Professional Services 10%
  • HealthCare 5%

BYOD Solutions For Delivering APPS

MOKIAFIVE – Offers a Desktop for most Devices and works offline

http://www.mokafive.com/

Citrix – Offers 2 solutions, Published applications or Virtual Desktops

http://www.citrix.com

2X – An Alternative to Citrix at a lower cost. Great for the Small to Medium Business

http://www.2x.com

Wired Networks – You need to Consider NAC

Juniper Networks – Provides a solution called UAC using industry standards.

www.juniper.net

Bradford Networks – Provides a solution that works with most switch manufactures

http://www.bradfordnetworks.com/

BYOD  – Use Cases

School Districts

The first use case that makes a lot of sense is school districts. Most students attending school have some sort of device that they use to access applications with. By providing a BYOD environment, the school district can save money and also offer computers to a wide variety of children. Also once School Text Books become electronic, the child does not need to bring a big back pack with a bunch of books in it.

Sales Professionals

Most sales professionals are traveling and would like something that easy to use and carry around. BYOD is a good fit for them. They can load the device with presentations and marketing materials and make it easy for them to access those materials. They can also access corporate applications from almost anywhere.

Attorneys

With the amount of time spent on court cases, BYOD would allow them to access their information anywhere on a device they feel comfortable with. It will also allow them to work from just about anywhere and have access to the critical data that is needed.

Knowledge Workers

Anyone who does research writing, programming could be a good fit for BYOD. They can do their work on their own devices and also have the ability to take the work home and continue to work on those devices. They also are not stuck with a platform they make not like or are not use to and can become more productive.

Final Thoughts

BYOD is not as much of a technology as it is a framework to allow employee provided devices access to corporate applications. This could be allowing employees to bring they own device to work to access applications or it could mean they can access them from home.

The really big items to consider are; how are you going to get the devices on your network and how are they going to access applications? The next crucial item to consider is; how you are going to secure your network so those consumer devices do not pose a security threat?

To see if you are ready for BYOD, contact us today.