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The BYOD dilemma

There is a myth amongst businesses that if you welcomingly accept BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) into the workplace, it will increase productivity.

To some extent, this is true. On the other hand, however, there is the issue that if you don’t have an IT infrastructure that can handle a large number of different devices accessing the network, day to day operations can’t be properly carried out.

Whilst there’s a misconception that productivity will instantly increase once workers are able to bring their own devices into the office, it is true that in workplaces where a BYOD culture doesn’t exist, there’s a demand for it. The popularity of consumer devices rocketed during the last twelve months, and after the New Year, sales of smartphones hit the £1bn mark.

The challenge of having a multitude of devices is how best to monitor and manage them so that they don’t end up becoming a disruption. In order to accommodate for new technologies coming into the workplace, organisations must adjust how they observe these devices on the network, rather than relying on the software already installed on the products, which are usually hugely unreliable.

Without the technology in place to manage and monitor what’s going on with applications across the network, how can IT managers intercept problems or learn how to prevent new ones? The new breeds of consumer technologies are not always compatible with a corporate infrastructure and can be a hugely complex process to manage without the right tools.

This in itself can cause huge disruption and user dissatisfaction. IT managers are unable to detect what devices are accessing the corporate network and who is the owner of that device to ensure that the right person is accessing the correct information. And so, not only does this become a negative productivity issue, but a security problem as well.

Therefore the best approach to take would be for IT managers to begin planning for an effective BYOD/remote working policy, but in order for it to be effective and a true success, they must ensure that they have intelligent IT operations that can give them 100% visibility. Without this, the network will become overwhelmed, users will become frustrated and the initial justification for implementing BYOD in the first place; productivity, soon becomes a double-edged sword.

By Owen Cole, VP EMEA at ExtraHop

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