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. 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
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. You wireless network will go from a nice to have to a must have and you 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
This is something that most overlook but should be a first step. You need to define what you are going to allow and how you are going to allow it.
The first item should be the 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.
Support, you do not want to be providing help desk support for the 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 complaint, you have the ability to remove them from the network.
Expense reimbursement. This is something else 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.
These guys are newcomers to the market, but have a very interesting product. They offer a virtual desktop. Their product installed on top of a Windows server and is very easy to deploy and maintain. They even work if you are disconnected from the network.
They have a number of solutions to allow access to applications, the largest one being Citrix XENAPP. Citrix XENAPP allows for the ability to publish applications to various devices. IPAD’s, IPHONE’s, PC’s, APPLE MAC’s are some of the platforms supported.
2X is a lot like Citrix, but is at a lower cost and is geared towards the Small to Medium business. This also works with the various platforms and allows the ability to access applications from anywhere and almost any device
BYOD is just not one thing but a collection of both technology and polices and procedures. Also, make sure you do not forget about how you are going to gain access to applications