How has BYOD impacted your network?
Has the era of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) made your office infrastructure more complicated? Spending my day speaking with network administrators always seems to reveal a grimace when asked about these devices. The responsibility of the administrator to accommodate these devices is seemingly a task that most would rather not deal with. However the more we encourage our employees to “be available” 24/7, the more we must increase our internal structures to handle these devices.
Employees all seem to have their favorites, whether it’s Apple, Android, or even Windows operating system devices, it seems the amount of choices is endless. Let’s face the fact that for the foreseeable future the way we work will be tied to our person and readily available with the swipe of a finger. This means the network administrators must be prepared and always on the cutting edge of technology. The minute an employee enters the workplace with a new device, it must be “available” and at the ready to process the day’s workload.
We are now beginning to rewrite the rules of network administration. For instance, since most BYOD devices are owned by the employee and not a company asset, who is responsible for that device once it enters the building. Is it fair for the BYOD user to encumber the IT staff when the device doesn’t work on the corporate network? Most would say no, however in the instance where the employee is no longer tied to a desk and “roams” the building that device is crucial to their work. It’s one thing to adjust the settings of these devices to connect to a corporate LAN; it’s a whole other set of circumstances when the Candy Crush app doesn’t work.
Security also becomes a real problem. How do we insure that the information that the BYOD employee is utilizing is actually safe? How many smart phones have you ever seen with an anti-virus program? What happens when an employee is terminated? How do you (the network admin) go about clearing the data on their device? Does the responsibility of being allowed to use these devices also bring the expectation that the company has a right to your personal property? Securing a BYOD is certainly not impossible; remember the convenience of having such a device is that it is transportable. Once it leaves the premises how do we make certain they remain safe?
The new workforce is always on, we now need to find a solution to insure that the way they conduct business is within a certain protocol. Being diligent and accommodating the BYOD will eventually prove to reward itself with increased productivity in employee engagement. As we learn to embrace new technology we are also faced with new challenges, the workforce that can adapt might just be the company to succeed?