BYOD means mobile devices are flourishing and adding to headache of keeping networks secure and optimized. Cloud-managed wireless ultimately benefits both IT departments and business operations. Outsourcing IT functions and adopting managed services are standard operating procedure for many enterprises to streamline costs and increase business agility. Now the impetus and technology is available to farm out your wireless networking infrastructure. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) phenomenon is reason enough to offload elements of your wireless network. Employees bringing their own smartphone and tablets to work inadvertently increase your vulnerability to security breaches and threaten the viability of your business. You’re also issuing more mobile devices to your workers to increase productivity. If your business is growing, you’re authorizing new users on a regular basis. Expansion through acquisition often means new campuses that must be managed. All of this means investing in new networking gear to make sure data is moving fast enough for everyone – especially the executive team. Aside from the capital cost of new equipment and management tools, you’re probably staffing up to keep up. Or worse, your headcount has remained static, which means you’re struggling to meet the demands of a growing organization with an increasingly mobile workforce. Cloud-managed wireless from Cisco Meraki, for example, enables you to securely manage campus-wide WiFi deployments and distributed multi-site networks from a single dashboard. You can identify BYOD clients and automatically apply access policies by device or user group and indentify which applications are being used so you can prioritize the business-critical ones. Other vendors with similar offerings include Ruckus Wireless, Aruba Networks and Aerohive Networks. Wireless networking through a cloud service doesn’t mean giving up control; it provides greater visibility into your network and allows you to granularly manage users and services. You can guarantee the CEO gets the best online experience, while making sure visitors can’t bring down your network with a malware-ridden laptop. You can also keep satellite offices connected without having a staff member on site. With individual departments such as HR and marketing turning to cloud services for their own business functions, consider getting your wireless networking from the cloud too. It frees up staff resources for more strategic IT projects aligned with business objectives and reduces capital and operational costs. Ultimately, wireless networking is a complex beast, so why not let others help you manage the burden?
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