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What does your company do regarding BYOD? A discussion during a recent NOREX WebForum reveals some pros and cons among NOREX members.

Moderator: Pros and cons with BYOD. This is Ed’s topic. When you allow bring your own device, what are some cons that can occur? I think they may be security related, listening to folks, but anything that was not brought up yet related to pros and cons?

Jarrod F.: Allowing BYODs, your internet bandwidth is going to spike.

Steve B.: We are just investigating the options. We have company issued iPhones and iPads and are exploring our options as far as wider use of the iPad.

Mike W.: The biggest reason we went with allowing employees to bring their own device is it allows the employee to choose the device, the carrier, and the features that best suit them. Another reason is we had a lot of employees that were carrying two devices. One was their personal device, and the other was their company device. We received a ton of complaints about that. Probably the biggest advantage we have seen is, by allowing employees to bring their own device, we no longer support the device. They go back to their carrier for any issues with the device, rather than coming to our IT department and cycling devices through us to go to the carrier to either have it replaced or repaired.

Tom K.: The law of unintended consequences, though, there is always, I guess, sort of some de facto support. We have been running into a bug with iOS where iOS devices running iOS will not release IP address. We have to end up basically restricting those devices from our wireless network. Princeton is the leader, as far as I know, in defining the problem, how can it be corrected and remediated, but there is always going to be a little, more than a little, there are always going to be some implied support issues if people allow BYOD devices on their network.

Moderator: That is the exact topic Lori mentioned. To what level is support offered for the personal devices. Let’s do a show of hands on that. We have got 85 on the web portion here. If your policy states that you do not support the personal device, please raise your hand. Policy is stating or you communicate that you are not going to support. De facto you may be doing a little bit of it, like the comment shared, but policy is stating you do not support. 33 out of 85 hands raised.

Michael O.: One of the issues that we do have with the devices, and mostly the iPhones, is, we have negotiated these use contracts with AT&T and Verizon on the spend. So then, if we do allow users to go out and get their own device, they may go to a different carrier, and we do not give, I guess, that spend added to our contracts. So that is one thing. I know that it seems like the Apple devices, too--I think someone kind of touched on it a little bit, about connecting to the access points. It does not do a good job always. A lot of times it will not try to connect to the same access point. That is an issue that we have seen, and it is not always the best situation, so it kind of creates a little support headache for you.

Tom K.: We have blacklisted six devices running iOS this week alone that do not relinquish IP addresses like they are supposed to. What ends up happening is, our DNCP server goes and provides the same IP address to somebody else like running a laptop and that is how we find out about it. We have hundreds of touches on our wireless network. 65-70% of those devices are Apple devices, and it is causing more and more of a support issue for us here. There are definitely support issues with the Apple devices that we allow students to bring in. It is an academic institution. But there are definitely support implications.

Moderator: Thank you. Great comments. I did throw up a poll here; Wi-Fi for company owned laptops. We were going to take it a little later, but I think this will work with what we are discussing. Many allow a company owned laptop to be connected via the home, and many do for public areas. Completely restricted is pretty low, just one organization saying that. Wi-Fi supported, that is what we were getting at here. Over 50%. Please go ahead and take that poll. We have got quite a few taking it. Completely restricted, I guess, is one still. Not supported, seven people.    


Moderator: This poll allows you to select more than one option. Maybe that should not have been the case, but people are selecting more than one option, so they may have a mix.

Michael O.: We had a meeting with Cisco yesterday, talking about some of the radios in these Apple devices. I guess some of that support is supposed to look better or wireless is supposed to look better with the next release of the iOS, 5.2. That may address some of the issues with releasing those IP addresses. That was going to go in upgrade that 5.2. Who knows, you know?

Moderator: Thank you very much, great point. Michel shares; we use NetMotion to securely support Wi-Fi. Michel has a link here. I will share it with the group. Other comments?

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