By Monique Lucey, HP Networking Group Industry Solutions Marketing
Today’s students, teachers and administrators are more mobile than ever and the acronym BYOD—bring your own device—has become the latest way to describe this phenomenon. BYOD looks set to be the biggest technology trend in education for 2012.
As a parent of a high school senior, I want to equip my son with everything he needs to be successful in college. To that end, I bought him a smart phone for Christmas, complete with data plan. The thought of my son having access to information anytime from anywhere provides peace of mind and has become an expectation—even on his college campus, wherever that may be.
Demand for BYOD in education doesn’t just appeal to users. It’s also a way higher education and K-12 institutions are hoping to raise academic achievement. Tablet computers, notebooks and mobile devices allow learning to happen outside of computer labs and libraries. Additionally, there’s the financial incentive BYOD poses for education: lower initial costs and fewer investments in computing technology.
With an influx of users opting to bring their own devices, is your network prepared for the increase in activity? Not only will your network require adequate bandwidth, but it will also need tough security measures in place. To stay on top of this education trend, consider the following: network access controls and campus LANs.
Stay secure with NACs
Security is a top concern at educational institutions, where hacking can impact grades and other private records. Your institution’s IT professionals can make the network as safe as possible, but ultimately, the strength of security is still dependent on end-users.
The right network access control (NAC) can help ensure that user devices have the necessary security software and updates before they're allowed access to your network. It can also enforce policies for personal devices, like blocking access to specific services or sites.
Educational institutions can leverage HP Identity Driven Manager (IDM), a network access control solution to protect both school- and personally owned mobile devices in support of BYOD initiatives. Administrators can specify network access rules, policies and requirements to meet your institution as well as industry compliance requirements. IDM keeps administrators in the loop, so they can keep track of who owns the unmanaged devices on the network and control what they’re doing.
Stay agile with campus LANs
To deal with the onslaught of BYOD in K-12 schools and post-secondary institutions—even when they’re welcomed—and the security concerns that come along with them, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got an agile and dependable campus LAN. An updated campus network means you can expect fewer network downtime and hardware failures as well as improved user productivity.
My son still hasn’t decided where he will go to school. But one thing is certain, the impact of mobile devices will shape the way he accesses information and learns and will better prepare him for the workplace.
Campus networks must evolve to support BYOD. They must also transform to easily support the delivery of applications and services to mobile users. The HP FlexCampus solution simplifies network architecture and management. Institutions deploying FlexCampus gain a secure, flexible and agile campus LAN infrastructure that can support users’ BYOD demands by exceeding speed and bandwidth requirements to ensure end user satisfaction and eliminate downtime.
How is your institution preparing for BYOD?