For enterprises, lessons in mobile device management a must

8 January 2015

When supporting bring-your-own-device programs, security is only one consideration IT departments need to keep in mind. These teams must also concern themselves with network bandwidth sustainability, application management and information storage. 

These needs obligate companies to hire the necessary professionals – those well-acquainted with the demands mobile computing places on IT personnel. If talent acquisition isn't an option, training existing staff in network expansion and mobile security permissions is a must. 

Mobile usage expanding 
When an employees use smartphones or tablets to access applications in the office, they are taking up bandwidth that was originally installed to accommodate the needs of desktop users. As network traffic increases, it takes much longer for employees to use software that is an integral part of their operations. Therefore, enterprises need internal IT teams to install more bandwidth to expedite lackluster data transportation speeds. 

Smartphones and tablets are just the beginning of the bigger problem. ITProPortal's David Upton referenced a PricewaterhouseCoopers report that discovered one-fifth of U.S. adults own wearable devices. Furthermore, an estimated 130 million such units are expected to be sold by 2018. 

Ensuring data protection 
While wearables can be used to improve employee workflows, they also incite a number of IT problems. For one thing, CIOs will likely have to procure software that monitor and manage these devices. That means the data produced by such implementations is transferred through a secure line (man-in-the-middle attacks are particularly dangerous) and network administrators can account for every time a wearable delivers information to internal or cloud-hosted systems. 

Getting existing staff acquainted with the latest data encryption techniques is a necessary first step. Upton referenced the U.S. National Security Agency's recommendation of this action, expanding by asserting the need to encrypt database PINs and passwords. 

Accommodating employee needs 
Despite these concerns, that doesn't mean enterprises should punish their workers for using mobile devices. Enterprise Networking Planet contributor Ankur Chadda emphasized the importance of implementing robust policies that are considerate of employee work habits. IT professionals knowledgeable of such policies can assist their superiors in identifying which protocols are in tandem with personnel concerns, but ensure networks do not become bogged down by excessive traffic. 

The best way to make BYOD programs successful is to develop policies that employees understand. The more complicated rules are, the less likely employees are going to follow them. 

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