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AI World Conference & Expo · Boston, MA · December 11-13, 2017

Posts Tagged ‘Smartphones’

Talk to anyone in IT today about anything and it’s hard not to transition to a discussion on BYOD. Almost every IT leader I speak to is struggling with the pressure of having to allow workers to use personal devices in the workplace while still maintaining security. This is one of the reasons the mobile device management (MDM) market has been growing.

However, it’s been my belief that MDM alone isn’t enough to establish a BYOD strategy. Most MDM solutions are based on client software being deployed and maintained on the device. But devices change so frequently in the workplace that trying to manage security by managing the device does not scale. What’s needed is a solution that’s delivered from the network so devices can be brought onto the corporate network and then used to access information without putting the organization at risk.

Earlier this week, the market leader in application delivery controllers (ADCs), F5 Networks, added to its security portfolio by announcing its own BYOD solution, known as Mobile Application Manager. Mobile App Manager is designed to remove many of the challenges associated with BYOD by taking the burden off the device and pushing the functions into the network.

The industry is still in the early days of BYOD and many companies have looked to mobile device management (MDM) solutions to help enterprises handle the influx of consumer devices. In my opinion, and I’ve said this for a while, traditional MDM solutions are a great stop gap technology to help deliver BYOD quickly, but these solutions are device-centric and that limits their scalability.

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.

There’s a song called “Pass the Dutchie” from the early 80’s by a band long gone called the Musical Youth that starts “this generation rules the nation.” It’s not that great a song, but I heard it today while driving home and for some reason I started thinking about how “This Generation” of youths has ruled the mobile phone nation.

Apple’s rise from the ashes to the highest market cap company of all time was largely due to the iPhone, and Google’s mobile play, of course, has been as successful as Android has been popular.

I’ve been reading the trade rags and have seen all the hype around Windows Phone 8 and how its going to take the industry by storm and challenge both iPhone and Android, and to that I take another line from the song, which goes “how does it feel when you got no food?” – food, in this case, meaning subscribers or appeal.



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