By now, most commercial business leaders are fully aware of the benefits that come with integrating a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy into their organizational strategy. By enabling employees to utilize their own connected devices to accomplish their daily tasks, businesses can reduce reliance on expensive infrastructure, improve worker mobility and streamline communications processes.
The benefits are enticing enough to decision makers that BYOD adoption has finally entered the mainstream—according to a 2016 Tenable report, 72 percent of respondents revealed that their business had established a BYOD policy that applied to all the employees in their organization. What’s more, that number is anticipated to continue climbing over the next several years.
However, many of the organizations with a BYOD policy are hitting impediments on the road to success, suggesting that the deployment of their BYOD strategies was not fully fleshed out before being implemented.
Simply opting in to a BYOD policy in your offices isn’t enough for you to start reaping the benefits. Business leaders must take a big picture view of exactly what they will need to do in order to ensure their workers can thrive under this emerging model. Otherwise, the strategy could backfire.
Unfortunately, many organizations are learning this lesson the hard way.
One of the most significant barriers to successful BYOD deployment is the limitation of commercial business wireless networks. According to Gartner, 80 percent of recently-installed corporate wide area networks may become obsolete due to poor infrastructure planning related to BYOD policies. Poor WiFi performance can greatly hinder employee productivity, so if businesses fail to address this concern their BYOD strategy will likely fail.
But instead of addressing the root cause, many businesses are looking for quick fixes, continually scaling and adding end points to their wide area networks to meet demand. But eventually, the maintenance required by such a solution will become ineffective and costly.
Instead, businesses can circumvent the problem by utilizing commercial signal boosters in their offices. This will empower employees on the company WiFi network, but can also augment 3G, 4G and LTE cellular connections as well so that your business can offload some of your bandwidth consumption onto cell carriers as a buffer to protect organization’s network. Signal boosters require one-time equipment and installation cost which can help businesses avoid ongoing maintenance costs like you will encounter when continually scaling up with existing hardware.
Because of the potential for cost savings, improved performance and a simplified maintenance process, many organizations can utilize signal boosters to support their BYOD strategies. As game-changing as signal boosters can be, though, they are still only a part of the puzzle.
Cybersecurity is another pressing issue for a large number of businesses that have adopted a BYOD policy. Every new device introduced into a business environment represents another entry point for hackers to leverage to access privileged data. And with employees’ personal devices being utilized, the network can only be assumed to be as safe as each individual’s personal web-browsing habits.
Based on the results of Tenable’s research, many organizations are dealing with the consequences of poor planning – One out of five respondents said they had experienced a security breach through the use of BYOD or mobile devices.
Prior to allowing employees to utilize their own devices, leaders in the commercial sector must secure their networks with network monitoring services to protect their organizations from malware or hackers. Procuring network monitoring solutions will ensure that your network is protected around the clock, while helping to offload the responsibility from your already beleaguered IT personnel. Furthermore, network monitoring can help improve network performance by truncating packets and dropping unnecessary traffic hampering performance.
Another critical element for ensuring the sustainability of a BYOD policy is a clear-cut strategy for balancing personal and professional costs for data usage, maintaining individual privacy while ensuring the protection of company data, and protecting the organization from data loss in the event an employee’s phone becomes compromised. The best way to do so is to utilize software that offers a centralized device management application so that business leaders have full protection.
Such applications can empower business leaders by placing usage restrictions for the appropriate employees, securing corporate data. They can also streamline IT service desk calls and monitor data usage to separate personal and professional consumption. But the introduction of applications can also place a higher demand on networks and create latency, further driving the need for signal boosters or other tools to improve performance.
Business leaders may be fully aware of the benefits of a bring-your-own-device policy, but jumping into such a strategy can be foolhardy if other aspects of an organization’s network are not brought up to speed at the same time.
Neal Serrano is the CSO of SignalBooster.com.