Don't let Wi-Fi black holes infuriate your BYOD workforce

Consumer devices can cause business networks considerable problems
Consumer devices can cause business networks considerable problems

The BYOD trend and an increase in mobile culture have caused employees to demand the freedom that comes with mobility. Enterprises have subsequently been forced to consider and fulfil the connectivity needs of employees to ensure maximum productivity, but what has caused this appetite for connectivity to grow so rapidly?

According to Gartner, we are beginning to see the rise of the "business consumer" – employees who continue to be consumers and make consumer-like decisions when they enter in the workplace. With access to strong connectivity at home and in public places, the business consumer is outraged by any degradation to connectivity in the workplace, particularly as organisations tend to invest in getting the best infrastructure to support their digital workforce.

What must be remembered is that in the workplace, the vast number of simultaneous connections running from multiple servers is causing a strain on the wireless network. At the same time, businesses are underestimating the number of applications being used, particularly as workers aren't connecting just their corporate-provided computers, but a large number of personal devices too.

The fact is, many of these devices are designed for consumer use at home and so having a good battery life often overrides the need for a strong Wi-Fi transmission, rendering these devices something of a black hole when it comes to connectivity.

To deliver an enterprise wireless network that is fit for the business consumer, organisations must:

  • Implement access points (APs) and routers that have been specifically designed to enhance the Wi-Fi experience for these consumer-grade devices
  • Implement a process of on-boarding to distinguish between different users and their device as well as the different requirements needed to maintain connectivity
  • Manage the applications in use to understand and regulate the number of connections at any one time

By having a wireless network which is quick and simple for users, and ensures connectivity, businesses can keep up with the current trends and adopt a mobile-first approach.