Analyst provides recommendations for handling employee-owned devices on WLANs
Among the practices recommended by Aberdeen Group is to consolidate wired and wireless policies and management.
An "Analyst Insight" document produced by Aberdeen Group provides recommendations for enterprise-network managers who are having to deal with the penetration of employee-owned devices - particularly tablets and smartphones - on their wireless LANs. Based on the data provided in the document, the phenomenon is affecting a very high percentage of those network managers.
Entitled "Prepare Your WLAN for the BYOD Invasion," the document was authored in mid-2011 and is now available for free download from wireless LAN equipment manufacturer Aruba Networks. The document's introduction reads, in part, "Initially driven by the broad adoption of smartphones, the 'Smart Revolution' has rapidly expanded with the meteoric rise of the tablet computer. One result of this transformation of IT-supported mobile endpoints has been the rapid influx of employee-owned devices; sometimes known as 'Employee-Liable' or E-L devices. This in turn has created new pressures and demands on the core enabling technology, the wireless LAN."
The paper provides statistics from research and analysis that Aberdeen Group conducted, then provides a list of recommendations for wireless LAN managers. The recommendations deal with device inventory, compliance policies, network access, capacity planning and other issues. One recommendation of particular note to us: "Consolidate wired and wireless policies and management." Within the description of that recommendation, Aberdeen says, "Combine wired and wireless network resources and personnel wherever possible ... Propagate a unified view of network performance and security."