Tablets Welcomed: Part 1

July 8, 2011 - 2 Comments

Eighteen months ago, when the original Apple iPad was announced, I posted a blog here posing a simple question: “Apple iPad, in the enterprise?”  The obvious answer, to me at least, was a resounding “Yes”. Today, it seems that professionals and employers alike would agree. The former like to bring and operate their own devices at work, and the latter are buying these devices to boost employee productivity.

In this six-part blog series titled “Tablets Welcomed.” I will be posting short video clips (3 questions in 3 minutes) of interviews with Cisco leaders, that walk you through the Cisco solution for providing access to any device, securely, reliably, and seamlessly.

Today, I am talking to Tom Wilburn, Vice President of Sales for Cisco Wireless, who has experienced this market transition firsthand. Watch Tom here as he answers:
–    How has the influx of new mobile devices changed IT?
–    What are the consequences companies need to confront?
–    What are some compelling tablet use cases?

This consumerization of IT, has birthed multiple questions about the right way to deal with tablets and generally un-managed devices. Most, if not all, of the Cisco Wireless customers I speak to during their visit at the Cisco Executive Briefing Center (EBC) consider this to be one of their top priorities as well.

Are tablets on your network something you worry about?

Join me next week for Part 2, when I sit down with Brett Belding, of Cisco IT, to discuss how he created the mobile device access policy for tablets and smartphones at Cisco.  You will not want to miss his insights and best practices.

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  1. The concept of BYOD is interesting, but the concept of allowing user-owned devices access to corporate network resources seems to me to be a very high risk strategy. The fall-out from a scenario where a user-owned device is subjected to some type of virus infestation and a subsequent attack would be immense. Although viruses may not be currently known on these devices, I suspect it’s only a matter of time before this type of attack surfaces.

    I agree with the productivity gains mentioned that may be brought to the Enterprise by tablets etc., but they should be company-owned assets that can be managed effectively to protect the network.

    The area of storage of data is also a very contentious topic given the number of high-profile governmental and commercial data losses that have been observed in recent years due to insecure devices. The concept of allowing access for an uncontrolled device which may have local storage capability also seems very high risk.

    To be honest, BYOD seems like a novel, exciting concept, but in the cold light of day following a virus attack or a data loss, I doubt many CEO’s will be amused that uncontrolled devices have been given access to corporate network resources.

    • Nigel,

      Thanks for the incredibly detailed comment. To me, the most interesting fact about the BYOD phenomenon isn’t – do we enable it – it’s HOW you enable it. As our CIO said today at her Cisco Live keynote, “I have to say yes to any device, I can’t really say no.” IT policies, MDM solutions must be put in place to keep the network and IP safe. Employees are coming to except the access though.