Monitoring BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Infrastructures

March 18, 2013 | Ken Leoni

The way that businesses and employees communicate with one another, share information, and conduct work is continually changing.  Back in the day work was only done during business hours, because the office was where the typewriter/computer/software/business phone line was.  As technology became more advanced employers realized that work could be conducted from locations outside of the office and “on the go” and in order to increase productivity began issuing mobile devices like laptops, smartphones, and tablets to employees that would keep them connected at all times from non-traditional work settings.  These company-issued devices were supposed to be used for work purposes only.  Since many employees had mobile devices of their own, for personal use, it was cumbersome to keep track of it all carry around multiple devices.  Since one device can essentially “do it all” and work for both personal and professional use, bring your own device (BYOD) is becoming more and more popular for organizations and companies now allow employees to use their own smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices in the work setting.

While this approach makes sense and limits the number of devices that an employee needs to have with them at all times, it also poses significant challenges.  As technology evolves, it moves organizations forward and pressures them to become more productive and efficient all while continually maintaining low operational costs. For example, the Information Technology (IT) team is now tasked with handling the increase in network bandwidth.  When employees are accessing the network from mobile devices and different device types (iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, etc.) bandwidth management is essential.

Because employees are now utilizing the BYOD platform, it means that they may be accessing web-based rich media which can slow down applications.  It also decreases the quality of VoIP calls and slows down virtualized desktops which result in a reduction in an organization’s overall productivity.  However, since there is that expectation with a BYOD platform that employees can do work whenever and wherever, the network needs to be accessible at all times.

Organizations that adopt a BYOD platform also need to adopt a proactive approach to system performance monitoring.  Information Technology (IT) professionals must allow the constant and effective upkeep of the ever-essential available bandwidth when a BYOD platform is utilized.  The right solution will highlight areas that mobile devices slow and show exactly when and where bottlenecks are occurring inside the network so that the IT professional will have the solution to an issue possibly before it even becomes a real problem.  The application performance monitoring solution should proactively monitor key performance metrics to ensure that the environment is running optimally and alerts IT professionals when there is a potential problem.   When IT professionals continue to implement the archaic reactive approach to network monitoring problems it can result in lost productivity across the entire organization.

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