As you begin to move forward with your BYOD strategy, you'll no doubt encounter customers who are receptive to the idea of BYOD but on the fence about how much they're willing to commit to new infrastructure. This can be challenging. Mobile security is a major issue when it comes to enterprise mobility and BYOD, so resistance to beefing up mobile security efforts can create problems. Luckily for VARs and enterprises, there are some ways to launch BYOD using external, cloud-based resources.
1. Cloud-based Mobile Device Management (MDM)
If you've done any reading at all about how to launch BYOD securely and successfully, then you know that Mobile Device Management (MDM) is vital to BYOD deployment. While some MDM solutions do require a server component on the customer premises, vendors like Cisco with the Cisco Meraki Systems Manager do provide a cloud-based platform that enables organizations to provision and manage devices, push out software to endpoints, configure and enforce policies, and perform other tasks to control enrolled mobile devices. This can make it easier for a business to launch BYOD with minimal infrastructure investment.
2. Cloud-based Network Access Control (NAC)
When it comes to BYOD, Network Access Control (NAC) solutions are also critical. NAC solutions can prevent rogue devices from accessing network resources and help to protect the security and integrity of the backend data environment; for this reason, they have proven useful in the toolkits of MSSPs like Solutionary. And while NAC has traditionally also relied on on-premises hardware deployments, a newer generation of solutions is emerging that delivers NAC capabilities as a service in the cloud. VARs looking to help customers launch BYOD should explore cloud-based NAC options and find ways of integrating those options into their BYOD offerings.
3. Cloud-based WiFi network management
One thing that BYOD often demands, and that cannot be pushed solely into the cloud, is a more robust wireless network. On-premises wireless access points remain key to ensuring wireless connectivity. While that is true, however, a variety of cloud-based wireless controllers and WiFi network management applications is emerging that can at least unify and streamline key operations like provision, configuration, and troubleshooting. Cisco Meraki is a leader in this space as well, while vendors like Ruckus Wireless are coming into the space with affordable new options.
Resistance to new hardware purchases is a common objection when it comes to convincing customers to launch BYOD. It makes sense. Many organizations turn to BYOD as a way to reduce their purchasing expenses and may balk at the idea of adding additional infrastructure to ensure a secure and successful rollout. New resources are helping overcome this resistance. Are you familiar enough with them to meet the challenge? If you aren't, make time to speak with an Ingram Micro information security and business development specialist. Your distributor can provide you with the training, resources, and community that you need to succeed in the BYOD era.
What other external resources can VARs leverage as they help their customers launch BYOD? Tell us what you've found in the comments.