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Archive for July 2012

I’m not sure what happened to the IT mindset this year but it seems BYOD has gone from something that most IT departments are trying to avoid to something that tops most IT priority list. Perhaps it’s the result of better MDM tools, pressure from the business leaders, or maybe just a willingness to admit that it’s the way things are now.

Whatever the case, a switch flipped, and ZK Research shows that fewer than 20% of companies actually oppose BYOD. That means for every five companies out there, four are embracing it.

So what happens after BYOD is put in place? Now companies have, what, 3, 4 or 5 times as many devices to manage? That means with an employee growth number of zero, IT departments have to manage up to 500% more devices. Now, think of the impact that has on the network. DHCP servers get slammed, DNS requests go through the room, the number of IP addresses jumps an order of magnitude, devices have to be assigned to VLANs and then reassigned as that worker moves through the company. Then all of that information needs to be updated and kept in sync.

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The company has talked about simplification and interoperability for a while now, so it’s good to see them put it into action.

Earlier this year, Cisco talked about making a commitment to making their products easier to use and to interoperate with other vendors’ systems. Both are areas where it’s been easy to be critical of Cisco in the past since their products have been relatively difficult to use and the company has thrived off vertical integration that creates what competitors call “lock in”. Now this was fine when Cisco’s competition were the likes of 3Com, Nortel, Lucent and other companies that couldn’t manage themselves out of a paper bag. However, Cisco’s competitors today are the likes of HP, Dell, Microsoft and Juniper. Even the “smaller” competitors are of the size of Polycom and Brocade, much bigger and better-run organizations than competitors past. If Jacob Marley were to take Chambers up and show him the “Ghosts of Cisco future” they would certainly look to face much tougher rivals than the “Ghosts of Cisco past”. So, new competition dictates new strategy.

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