How to avoid BYOD bandwidth woes

While nobody is predicting that the proliferation of mobile devices in the enterprise will create a full-blown bandwidth catastrophe, IT managers will have to move quickly to ensure satisfactory performance for employees accessing company data over wireless links.

The biggest issue is ensuring that data is available when users want it, and that wireless connections are secure and reliable. While this is also true for wired networks, mobile computing poses an additional burden on IT.

"Mobile computing offers a unique challenge. We can't predict where users are going to be, and we have to be prepared to support users anywhere, all the time," says John Edgar, vice president of information technology at the U.S. Postal Service.

The USPS has 20,000 internal mobile users, mostly managers and administrators, and over the next two years, plans to deploy new mobile apps and devices to its 250,000 letter carriers.

The Postal Service is certainly not alone when it comes to planning for a surge in mobile usage. According to a report by Forrester Research earlier this year, almost half of IT executives surveyed said that mobile connectivity will continue to be a top priority during the next 12 months.

Much of their focus will be on security and deployment. Specifically, 45% of respondents said implementation or improvement of mobile security tops their IT to-do lists. Forty-four percent plan to extend internal systems to mobile users in their business units and employees.

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