New iPad’s corporate impact to boost BYOD

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Apple is about to launch its iPad 3. Will the new tablet have a greater impact in the corporate market, contributing even more to the consumerization and Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) phenomenon? A recent Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD) survey with 120 IT decision-makers says yes, noting that the iPad 3 and other mobile devices have a direct impact on network traffic and the BYOD trend.

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Indeed some specialists interviewed by RCR Wireless News agree the simplicity of many mobile devices, mostly Apple, encourages employees to bring them to the workplace and to start using them as corporate tools. However, from an enterprise’s point of view it’s a huge challenge, since CIOs must develop policies to guarantee security and mobile device management becomes even more complex.

“BYOD is not an institutional policy, regulated by IT departments. Employees are bringing devices informally and once devices become more powerful with more features this BYOD trend will increase,” notes Julian Nakasone, IT solutions director at PromonLogicalis.

According to Brocade, almost 40% of respondents indicated that employees use mobile devices to access their campus LANs regardless of official BYOD policies. The survey also projects the iPad 3’s immediate impact on network traffic, with about 30% of decision-makers expecting it to increase as a direct result of the new Apple tablet.

As consequence, enterprises have been increasing their investments to boost network capacity. Brocade reported that 65% of the survey respondents said they have invested in campus LANs since 2009 to address tablet and smartphone usage.

In this scenario, Nakasone suggests that enterprises find a way to adapt to the new reality and try to figure out how to take advantage of the BYOD trend. “Certainly there’s an impact in corporate networks due to multimedia, which demands more bandwhich,” he says.

Although we see an invasion of Apple’s iPad and iPhone in the workplace, enterprises continue to have a multivendor strategy: 60% of the respondents said their organization relies on networking solutions from multiple vendors to achieve their goals.

The CIO of Brazilian construction company Andrade Gutierrez, Cibele Fonseca, has been experiencing this situation. “The most difficult part of IT consumerization is how IT department manages the install base, because if we have too many different devices I cannot support them,” she adds.

Andrade Gutierrez has been building dams and power plants, ports and airports, subways, highways and railways, and has operations worldwide.

Cibele has concerns about security and mobile device management, since as CIO she must guarantee the integrity of corporate data. Related to this topic, Tekserve Information Technology Director, Aaron Freimark, points out that Apple has done its job. “There are a lots of mobile managements systems for iOS. They might not be enough for some businesses, but they are more than people think.” Tekserve has integrated Apple for 25 years and has experience with the biggest challenges enterprise IT departments face in dealing with consumer devices — from device management and integration, to security and customization.

Some specialists project that mobile devices could eventually have the same destiny as cars, which used to be widely given to those employees who needed to use a vehicle commercially and now go to only a few executives.

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