The Internet of Everything is all around us. People are connecting on the go in new ways, and they expect fast, secure network connections that follow them anywhere and everywhere —at work, at home, at play, at the mall, at the gym, or even at the ballpark.
Not so long ago, getting on the Internet was a static experience. It was a desktop PC tethered to the company network, or for the elite the “double, double, toil and trouble” of a modem firing up, followed by a long wait for a sluggish home connection.
The new era of mobility takes computing beyond the PC’s limitations, surpassing it by a long shot. It’s becoming less about devices than what you can do as the workspace evolves, offering adaptability and choice based upon who you are, where you are, and what you need to accomplish. Whether it’s a quick phone call, a web conferencing session, instant messaging, or file sharing, removing the limitations of location and devices lets organizations work together better and make decisions faster.
What is driving these changes? When people think of mobility, they usually focus on the devices used to access the net. Slick new smart phone displays, multi-touch tablet screens, and futuristic industrial designs are definitely eye-catching. Consumers are snapping up these new devices, and companies are embracing bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs. But what’s happening behind the scenes and on the screens is just as important—if not more important.
For example, Standard Bank Plc in the UK is using a Cisco network to provide secure wireless connectivity for employees, guests, and clients, using any device. Policy controls enable visitors like auditors, developers, and support staff who need Internet access to connect in minutes, without exposing the corporate network to security issues. A traveling employee can walk into any Standard Bank office worldwide and connect any wireless device to the network, easily and securely, with controlled access to the resources the employee, guest or client needs.
At California Institute of the Arts in Southern California, students and faculty have been bringing their own communication devices on campus for years. The CalArts IT staff is committed to BYOD, and its goal is to bring anywhere-access to everyone on campus, with complete security and no hassle.
The school supports smart phones, laptops, and tablet PCs running everything from Windows to iOS and Android operating systems. No matter what device they choose, everyone logs in, authenticates, and receives role-based access to the select areas they need to reach on the network.
As both these examples show, at the heart of the Internet of Everything are intelligent networks that connect people, processes, data, and things. The people that manage a network need to be sure it delivers the speed and performance its users expect, and provides security to protect communications and data. At the same time, they need visibility and control over who is using the network, and what they can access.
Together, the powerful combination of personal, mobile devices and apps, enabled by the intelligent network and collaboration applications, lets organizations get out in front of business challenges—without compromising security, innovation, or management.
This may seem complex. How do you support myriad devices and operating systems—while ensuring a safe, consistent user experience?
The answer lies in simplicity that is smart. Bringing security (one policy) and one management together with one network and the ability to collaborate that lets people connect, work, and play the way they want to, without compromises. Here’s how:
- It starts with one network for wired and wireless connections that can be centrally monitored and managed.
- A unified policy provides consistent, strong security for the network, people, and devices, whether they are wired or wireless.
- Network intelligence identifies the user, device type, and information access rights.
- Collaboration applications work across devices and utilize the benefits of the network to deliver reliability and security.
With a little planning, any organization can provide simpler, secure mobility to improve collaboration, productivity, and flexibility. In his Internet of Everything white paper, Dave Evans, Cisco’s Chief Futurist and CTO, says, “the more you can prepare for the future, the better off you will be when it arrives.” It’s never too early to get ready for a world where more people, information, and things will be connected—everywhere.
How has mobility benefitted your organization? We’d love to hear about it.