BYOD could be the single largest disruptive force in networking today, creating a host of IT challenges. It used to be that IT-managed devices were the only ones allowed on your network. IT ruled and was the gatekeeper. Today, millions of WiFi enables smartphones and tablets are connecting to enterprise networks. Each user might have three devices and up to forty apps. Co-mingling personal and corporate information is a new challenge.
The new IT mission demands a reliable mobile work experience for users without sacrificing privacy, security and control. However, some big challenges remain. How does IT maintain visibility and control of new devices that connect? What devices are being used, how many, and can IT support all the operating systems? What apps are users downloading over the enterprise network?
IT organizations must also contend with some formidable onboarding challenges. It’s not realistic to rely on already-strapped IT helpdesks to manually provision network access settings, certificates, and enterprise apps on every mobile device. Another serious challenge involves safeguarding company data. IT has to deal with the risk and compliance implications of confidential data residing on personal devices. Not only are these devices easily misplaced or stolen, they also have different security capabilities. Until now, IT has addressed this problem by taking control over the entire device. But end users have rejected this big-brother approach to device security. What IT really needs is multiple approaches that address the entire spectrum of BYOD and its use cases. As a result, a litany of siloed point-products have made their way onto enterprise networks to narrowly address some specific aspects of BYOD – network access control, mobile device management, mobile application management, guest management, and content management.
Stringing together a multitude of loosely integrated point-products can lead to more complexity, higher costs and compromised security controls. This approach also fails to streamline and automate time-consuming onboarding tasks.
BYOD Management Software & Integrated MDM Tools
The most manageable approach is to implement the appropriate integrated tools for every critical aspect of BYOD – network access control (NAC), mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM) – into a single platform. The right tools will provide IT management with network access control (NAC), mobiledevice management (MDM) and mobile application management(MAM) – into a single platform.
IT needs manage network policies, onboard and manage devices, admit guest users, assess device health – even secure, distribute and manage work apps – through a single pane of glass, on any network and without changing your current infrastructure. Equally compelling, the right BYOD management software automates many of the time consuming tasks that the IT helpdesk had to do manually. You can make BYOD so simple that users can now securely onboard their own devices and provision network access for their own guests.
The right BYOD management software tools allows:
- Users provision their own devices with the right security settings and the right apps without helpdesk assistance.
- Users register their own devices, like projectors, printers and Apple TVs, by simply filling out an online form.
- Network access privileges automatically extend to devices and applications using contextual data – user roles, device types, application use, location, motion, and time-of-day.
- Application updates and security controls are automatic and applied from an integrated management platform.
There’s significant upside for IT organizations that adopt the right BYOD management software. For starters, it eliminates the cost and complexity associated with integrating dissimilar, siloed point-products for NAC, MDM and MAM. Such software also automates the most formidable tasks associated with BYOD and actually simplifies and offloads to users the process of onboarding their own devices and provisioning network access for their guests.
Finally, in the struggle to overcome the challenges of MDM, BYOD management software provides the all-important visibility and control by extending context-based policies from the network access infrastructure all the way to devices and mobile apps.
The right BYOD management software will also automates the most formidable tasks associated with BYOD and actually simplify and offload to users the process of onboarding their own devices and provisioning network access for their guests. Finally, in the struggle to overcome the challenges of BYOD, you will receive the all-important visibility and control by extending context-based policies from the network access infrastructure all the way to devices and mobile apps.
Contact SD-WAN-Experts if you would like more information on selecting and implementing the best management tools for your wireless network.