Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) initiatives are among the top priorities amongst CIO’s in 2012. The appeal is obvious. Give your employees the freedom to use their device of choice at both home and at work. Reduce if not eliminate capex spending on new desktops, laptops and/or phones. Lower software licensing fees with VDI/virtual desktop/thin client software platforms from VMware, Citrix, Microsoft and others. Use web-based, cloud applications to eliminate the need for client-based software installations. Sounds almost too good to be true. Based on feedback from Angelbeat attendees, BYOD is in fact pretty darn close to IT Nirvana. But end users who are far along the BYOD path offered the following recommendations/insights.
First, it is mandatory that you have bullet-proof separation of personal and business data. This should be accomplished at multiple, redundant levels: network access control/NAC, wireless carrier connectivity platform, virtual desktop configuration, device data encryption, etc. Theoretically, any one of these solutions should be fine by itself. But pursue a defense-in-depth strategy so you are covered.
Second, most of the consumer devices that would be used for work-based BYOD deployment – tablets, airbooks, smartphones, ultrabooks – do not come with a wired ethernet jack. WiFi is the default and only option for network connectivity. So as part of BYOD, plan to upgrade your a/b/g network to the latest, highest speed 802.11n wireless. Remember that BYOD devices are built for consumption of multimedia – bandwidth intensive HD video for instance. You are will be saving a lot of money on client device purchases; just be prepared to allocate additional funds towards wifi. In the end you will still save money.