In 2012, the Gartner Group asserted that bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs heralded the most radical shift in enterprise computing since the introduction of the PC. Today, there’s no denying that BOYD environments are becoming increasingly common as mobile devices become an integral part of life. In fact, for many employees, arriving at work and connecting their own electronic devices to the company network, is as routine as hanging up their coat and pouring a coffee. But what does this mean for the enterprise?
On the upside, a BOYD environment helps improve employee productivity. The “office” becomes wherever staff happen to be. They can work at any time of the day. They can connect with colleagues and customers on a whim. Decisions get made faster and more efficiently.
Further, a BOYD environment can also increase employee satisfaction, which is always good for business. For example, being able to select the devices best suited to performing their duties can provide a sense of empowerment. Two sets of devices — work and personal — no longer need to be lugged from one place to another. Also, employees may have a greater say in when and where they work. This can dramatically improve work-life balance and result in a heightened sense of trust.
However, a BOYD environment is not without its challenges. Many organizations have networks that were never intended to support a multitude of mobile devices, let alone devices not specifically approved by IT. What’s more, devices are being used for complex applications, such as streaming video, and for holding wireless conversations.
Legacy networks, especially those common in campus locations and branch offices, hold back BOYD and all its potential, in four key ways. First, they are inflexible, and don’t let employees personalize how they’re using the network. Second, they increase security risks as users connect mobile devices that network designers never anticipated. Third, they are complex and labour-intensive, requiring manual configuration changes to allow new devices to connect. And four, their old three-tier architecture can slow down modern applications, especially on wireless networks.
Clearly, if you have a BOYD program in your enterprise, you must have a network that can support it. This HP white paper: Re-architect your network to support BYOD, discusses the shortcomings of legacy networks in the context of BYOD and the options available to ensure your business can meet current and future BOYD demands. Learn more at hp.com/networking/byod