By Tim Allen
Is your network infrastructure ready for a BYOD initiative? If your network was designed and implemented five years ago or more, the answer is, unfortunately, probably not. When your network infrastructure was implemented, your team understood how many individuals would be accessing the network because you were controlling how many devices were handed out. With a BYOD strategy, you’re opening the door to many more devices—and many more applications being used on those devices. If you’re thinking about implementing BYOD at your organization, it’s time for your network strategy to evolve.
Ask the Right Questions
As you start to plan your BYOD network strategy, considering the density of wireless devices in each area of your organization is key. Right now, the average employee owns three smart devices that can connect to the wireless network: notebook, smartphone, and tablet. Do you know the actual density of wireless devices in your organization? Question two is what kind of wireless technology are these devices using? If every device can connect on wireless N technology, and you’ve got five to ten users on an access point—which is not uncommon—you have to make sure you have a switching infrastructure that can handle that density.
Assess Your Network Now
Now that you know what you’re looking for, you can start with a network assessment, which can provide a current baseline picture of your environment. That information can help you then plan how to expand upon your existing infrastructure in preparation for a BYOD implementation. Conducting a proof of concept within your BYOD strategy also allows you to first pilot out how the implementation will work and look within your environment. Many times, you’ll be able to find out cultural and technology issues before you go through with the implementation, saving you time and potentially large amounts of money down the road.
For more information on how a BYOD strategy could affect your network, check out our video.