What’s Standing in the Way of BYOD?


In recent years, BYOD has taken the business world by storm. The prospect of spending less on technology while creating a more mobile, productive workforce is no doubt attractive to companies in nearly every realm of the corporate world. However, there are still things standing in the way of BYOD, some that have yet to adopt it, and some that put the kibosh on the practice altogether. A mobile staff can bring innumerable advantages to enterprises everywhere, but only when the right executive support and IT infrastructure is in place.


CIO refuses BYOD
Recently, Sam Lamonica, CIO of Rosendin Electric, told Network World contributor Tom Kaneshige that his organization does not have a BYOD policy, and probably won’t ever allow its staff members to use their own mobile devices at work. This doesn’t stop them from approaching him every few months, though, to ask why.


It’s hard to understand the reasoning behind prohibiting a practice that could end up saving the company money and making its employees more constructive. However, Kaneshige noted that Lamonica is not alone in his choice to ban BYOD.


“There’s a growing backlash among CIOs that threatens to derail the once-high-flying computing trend,” Kaneshige wrote.


A CompTIA survey supported this, finding that more than half – 51 percent – of all respondents in the enterprise sector did not allow BYOD at their companies.


While some point to security concerns, others note that when more endpoints are connected to corporate network bandwidth, services suffer across the board. This can make BYOD more trouble than it’s worth, especially when those mobile devices draw from available corporate bandwidth to function.


Visage recently underscored this point, noting that a Comcast poll found that 75 percent of all businesses noticed a rising number of mobile endpoints utilizing network bandwidth. However, due to this trend, one in every three companies had issues with their network, as well as cloud performance and the availability of other Internet-based services.


“Unfortunately company network issues are only going to increase as the number of mobile devices connecting to the Internet increases – expected to reach at least five billion in the next three years,” wrote Visage contributor Courtney Buchanan.


How can companies better support their BYOD programs?
So how can organizations avoid these network bandwidth issues? By providing adequate resources to ensure that every online resource works as it should on all employee devices. Businesses need to increase bandwidth available for staff member use in order to ensure that BYOD will be a benefit, not a headache.


“Now is the time to invest in a reliable network infrastructure that has the capacity and bandwidth to support BYOD, and that offers the scalability and security features to accommodate the ever-changing needs of your employees,” advised Steve Walsh, Comcast Business vice president.


Business leaders can also prioritize the application traffic on their network with WAN virtualization. This type of technology allows administrators to set specific priorities depending upon the type of traffic. In this way, the most critical network bandwidth uses – including enterprise applications – can be configured to leverage the most reliable WAN links. Other more recreational traffic like Web browsing and watching World Cup matches can utilize other WAN connections to ensure that even during the heaviest usage periods, the most important applications have access to the network bandwidth they need. In this way, the company’s IT director can easily guarantee application performance no matter what device employees choose to use. This also provides an increased return on investment from the BYOD initiative.


So don’t say no to BYOD, and definitely don’t limit the bandwidth-heavy, but essential, processes employees need to leverage. This is an approach preached by many that simply doesn’t work. Instead of putting constraints on BYOD, or eliminating it altogether, increase network bandwidth and make sure the organization is positioned for success.