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One Network for the BYOD Challenge

January 23, 2013 at 5:01 am PST

In my previous posts, I discussed with you the importance of unified policy and management as you respond to the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend. The Cisco Unified Access solution brings “One Policy. One Management. One Network” to help you with your BYOD initiatives. Today I’ll take a look at the third pillar of Cisco Unified Access, One Network. I’ll explore with you what it means and why it is a critical factor as you take on BYOD.

The workforce is increasingly going mobile. According to research firm Gartner, tablets will be the key accelerator to workforce mobility. A Gartner 2012 report suggested that annual tablet purchase by businesses totaled 13 million units and this number would more than triple to reach 53 million units by 2016. Such rapid mobile growth calls for major wireless network expansion. Market data from Infonetics showed that global wireless LAN equipment sales in the 3rd quarter of 2012 passed the $1-billion mark for the first time.   Read More »

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Can Access Switches Simplify BYOD and Collaboration?

January 18, 2013 at 5:19 am PST

Enabling bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and rich-media collaboration applications can help increase productivity, deliver superior employee collaboration, and improve business agility. The right campus access network can simplify BYOD and collaboration so that you can free up time to focus on strategic projects.

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One Management for the BYOD Challenge

January 16, 2013 at 5:00 am PST

As part of my work at Cisco, I get to talk to customers very often. Through these conversations, I learn what works for them and what concerns them. Lately, I’ve been hearing a common theme from a lot of customers: in many organizations IT staff is small and not growing while they are being asked to do more to meet the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) challenge.

BYOD has drastically changed the technology landscape as users bring many different types of personal devices to the networks of schools and colleges, hospitals, financial agencies, enterprises and other organizations. One university IT team, including their chief technology officer and their IT administrators, recently told me that they had 200% network user growth and 300% endpoint device growth over the last several years. As for their network, they used to have less than 100 wireless access points (APs). Guess how many they have today? Over a thousand. And they are planning to deploy several hundred more APs in the coming months. How about their IT headcount growth? As you might have guessed, it’s not grown at all.

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Registration Open: Is Your Network Ready for BYOD Webcast

RegisterNow that you’ve survived the annual gift-giving extravaganza (at least in the US) of the holidays, you have probably noticed some colleagues and employees showing up touting new smart phones, tablets, or random internet-connecting devices.  Happy as you may be for them, you probably also know (because, hey, you’re reading this blog) that all these fun little devices can put a strain on a company.

In the last few weeks, your IT team (that probably includes you or someone you know) has probably been spending an inordinate amount of time helping users get their devices connected.  They’ve probably been dealing more with maintenance headaches than working on more interesting services.  In fact, headache medicine sales spike in mid-January in regions with higher densities of people in IT*.

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One Policy for the BYOD Challenge

January 15, 2013 at 5:45 pm PST

Man on LadderSeveral years ago, I had a conversation with an IT manager about his company’s network security that I still remember today. He said: “We’re losing our battle over internal network security. We cannot keep up with our vendors and contractors who bring in all kinds of devices to our network. We may turn our internal network into a DMZ.” Turning an internal network into a DMZ was probably an extreme case at that time but it showed the underlying problem: if you don’t have control over what’s happening on your network, you’ll have an uphill battle in your hands.

Today, the challenge has intensified due to the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend. There are speculations that corporate networks may eventually turn out to be the equivalent of college networks where users routinely bring their own personal devices. Because personal devices generally do not have the same level of security as IT-owned assets, they tend to have more vulnerabilities and it’s harder to protect sensitive information and intellectual property on these devices. The adage, “security risks walk in the door with employees” is quickly becoming a reality that organizations must address.

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