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Recently Jon Stine with Cisco IBSG wrote in the Cisco Retail blog an article titled “In Between the Numbers: Bring Your Own Device Do we know what that means?” where he talked about the changes that the BYOD concept brings to the change in the culture of employees leveraging technology to get their job done, and how it not just impacts the end point technology but all the network and information technology infrastructure.

I recently went to New York  for the National Retail Federation Conference and I took a picture of all the devices (excluding my laptop) that I carried with me for use at the hotel, in the booth, and while I was at 30,000 ft.

Cius, iPad, iPhone

As I think back about working with multiple devices (both issued to me and owned by me) during the week, here are some areas that impacted IT.

Data Prioritization over the Network: Voice, video, application data all flowing through the same pipe from multiple devices in use, plus unattended devices  that automatically update while idle, all requiring network management to conserve existing bandwidth and maintain service.

Wireless Access: The days of one person using one computer are being replaced by one person using multiple devices, many of which access the network over wireless.  Add voice plus video over multiple devices on wireless  and one employee can consume more bandwidth than an entire office 10 years ago.

Security: Obviously a huge area, as Jon Stine discussed.  Enterprises need to be able to manage access levels to content and applications from multiple devices both owned by and/or issued to employees.

Telecommunications Costs: As employees are able to access applications on the go for productivity, it increases the data usage with the telecommunications provider or signup costs for mobile broadband carriers (in my case both flights to and from New York I signed up for Gogo on the plane).  If the company is responsible for cost of the broadband data plans, expect to see those costs go up.

Data Synchronization: Allowing multiple devices to access the same application from the same user profile can create version control and file locking issues.

Data Center: As more application providers add application access from mobile device as one of the options, it adds to the number of queries and workload to the data center in off hours.

What do you think?  How many devices are you carrying in your bag today and how are you using them to increase your productivity?  How is your IT department handling all the extra workload and mobility concerns?

Kenneth Leung is the Cisco private sector marketing strategy manager covering financial services, manufacturing and retail.  He is active on social media including Cisco Blogs and Cisco industry LinkedIn groups.  He is based in San Francisco, California.

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