The ABC’s of BYOD – Part Three: Criteria for Change
April 18th, 2012
Insights from How to be a “Bring Your Own Device” Hero
By David Messina, VP, Marketing and Product Management, Xangati
Today I’m going to share my third and final blog summarizing Xangati’s recent webinar How to be a “Bring Your Own Device Hero.” Along with our co-host Zeus Kerravala of ZK Research, we delved into some of the most important issues surrounding this hot topic and what you need to know to be a BYOD hero in your organization.
Key among those issues – as explained in my initial blog – is acceptance. BYOD is happening whether you want it or not, and Zeus gave examples of how management is driving and forcing IT to embrace the BYOD path. But the barriers – outlined in my second blog – are many, multiplying the number of devices you need to manage while running on a shared wireless medium with unpredictable and heavy traffic flows. Certainly not an easy task.
And, as Zeus stated in the webinar, legacy management solutions, built in the 1990s for static environments, can’t meet today’s challenges. Static environments? They simply don’t exist anymore, and BYOD clearly requires a management solution built for today’s era of IT. To be a true BYOD hero, you must move past these outdated infrastructure-centric models and look at the criteria for change that’s needed for BYOD to succeed.
So what’s next?
It’s time to broaden your initiative beyond simply on boarding the devices. To do so, three essential criteria for change stand out above all others:
- A user-centric view of the world;
- End-to-end visibility; and
- Live and continuous insights.
The User-Centric View
If you’re moving down the BYOD path, a user-centric view is essential. You must understand the user experience and ensure that the experience your users have at the office is as good as what they have at home. You need to deliver the best technology in a highly developed, highly available corporate infrastructure, where workers can maximize use of the devices. And you must provide an operationally supportive environment that is fully focused on the end user.
To successfully and completely achieve this ‘user-centric’ view requires more than a view into the user and the network. It demands a view between all devices on the entire infrastructure. This leads to our second critical criteria for change.
You must have end-to-end visibility all the way from the end user up to the cloud to successfully implement a BYOD environment. Only with end-to-end visibility can you accurately:
- Capture all interactions;
- Deliver proper analytics; and
- Identify where a problem is located.
With end-to-end visibility, you can collect the data that allows you to track dynamic interactions. You can see what baseline operations look like – making it clear when your baseline shifts. In this way, you can see if your baseline is trending downwards over a period of time. Perhaps you’re still at acceptable tolerance, and users are not calling, but this type of trend can indicate a problem that’s going to occur. Armed with this data, you are able to start troubleshooting before user experience is effected.
Live and Continuous Insights
Because usage of BYOD devices is fluid and relies on a shared wireless LAN environment, you can have frequent bursts of short-term activity. You may have video conferencing traffic occurring or updates being made that can cause congestion in the infrastructure in the blink of an eye, then entirely disappear. Capturing these short-term interactions requires that you have an ongoing pulse on the activity – anywhere, everywhere, across the physical and virtual infrastructure – that provides live and continuous insights to what’s happening.
You can extend live and continuous insights further with the ability to record problems. For example, Xangati’s unique DVR recordings ensure continuous insights so that you can easily see where a problem is, who’s causing it and who’s impacted by it – even if you’re not watching the split second it occurs.
By addressing these three criteria, you can be more proactive rather than reactive in managing your BYOD environment. You can focus on preventing problems rather than fixing ‘what’s down.’ In this type of an operationally supportive environment, you are best able to guarantee a positive user experience – and that makes you a BYOD hero.