With the number of devices being brought into the workplace reaching close to 3 per employee, there are many advantages of enabling a BYOD culture inside your organisation – from increased productivity and lowered costs through to improved employee collaboration and satisfaction. But as is always the case with advantages, there comes many challenges including data security, loss of control and a lack of consistent policy enforcement not to mention the undeniable strain that is being placed on your network.
I’ve worked on hundreds of wireless network installations over the years, and one common factor in recent times is that even though most organisations have accepted that they need to allow for BYOD, they often overlook their existing Wi-Fi infrastructure, failing to update the wireless network in order to handle the increase in bandwidth they are experiencing.
With employees collaborating with one another in different locations, utilising mobile UC apps, Skype, streaming videos and downloading data from their mobile devices and tablets, IT departments are faced with solving bandwidth problems because in reality, most wireless networks can only support 5-7 devices per access point effectively. Without allowing for this increased bandwidth, they are seeing a significant deterioration in wireless performance which results in a lack of productivity, reduced collaboration and leads to employee disengagement. Therefore, companies planning for BYOD policies need to be proactive and evaluate their wireless network in the first instance.
My advice to most enterprises with BYOD policies would be not to just throw more access points at their BYOD problems, this will just make things worse, but to devise a strategy with the latest wireless solutions on the market. With a single well designed wireless network, you can securely support corporate devices, BYOD and guest, which enables you to take back control of who is accessing the corporate wireless network, and provides you with visibility of usage. And with the launch of 802.11ac now imminent, upgrading your wireless network has never been more beneficial.
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