With the Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) trend becoming more prevalent in enterprise environments everywhere, data centers will need to reconfigure their server hardware to best accommodate this paradigm shift.
As smartphones and tablets rise in popularity, many business end users want to bring their own personal mobile devices to work. For example, the Pew Internet and American Life Project reported in June that 56 percent of all American adults now own a smartphone. In addition, 85 percent of businesses now allow employees to bring their own smartphones, tablets and laptops into the workplace, according to IDG Research Services.
Plus, this trend is likely only going to become more pronounced in the years ahead. By 2016, research firm IDC predicted that 65 percent of all smartphones will be utilized in BYOD workplaces, and Gartner expects 38 percent of companies will stop procuring mobile devices for employees by that year as well.
“BYOD strategies are the most radical change to the economics and the culture of client computing in business in decades,” Gartner vice president and analyst David Willis said in May. “The benefits of BYOD include creating new mobile workforce opportunities, increasing employee satisfaction, and reducing or avoiding costs.”
Ensuring the Data Center is Ready for BYOD
While end users like being able to use their personal devices for work-related purposes, the BYOD trend creates many unforeseen challenges for enterprise IT departments. In particular, most legacy server hardware is not equipped to effectively provision so many mobile users and cloud applications, meaning that many data centers will either have to update or replace their equipment.
According to ComputerWeekly contributor Clive Longbottom, data centers should make the following changes to best accommodate more mobile users:
Audit the existing environment to see which present server hardware was built with mobility and cloud apps in mind and which components may need to be replaced with newer technology
Implement a virtual desktop infrastructure to ensure employees can access data and apps while on the go
Install oversight mechanisms like touchpoints to allow data center professionals to determine exactly what employees are doing within the network at all times
Put additional security measures into effect, since employee-owned devices are likely far less secure than enterprise-owned computing hardware
Since more employees are using unsecured mobile devices to complete tasks outside of central office constraints, data center professionals need to reconfigure IT networking environments to make sure server hardware is protected from harm and they are able to provision workers with cloud-hosted assets when necessary. By taking a few simple steps with BYOD in mind, data center professionals can ensure that facilities remain key enterprise IT assets for years to come.
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