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Datanews 2/12/2011: « Helft van Belgische bedrijven wil iPad – La moitié des entreprises belges veulent utiliser l’iPad »

Datanews’ yearly survey amongst 300 telecom- and IT-responsibles of Belgian companies (http://t.co/gnsy0DNF) is very clear : around half of the companies plan to use an iPad or another tablet for mobile data services (up from 21% last year). Impressive is that 41% of the companies mentioned that employees could use their own smartphone. Priority for the surveyed companies was : 1. Mobile Data, 2. Security and 3. Standardization. This survey confirms that the evolution to consumer devices entering the network (“Consumerization”) and people bringing in their own devices (“BYOD – Bring Your Own device”) is really breaking through.

More then 1 year ago, Cisco IT moved from an environment where all devices were corporate-owned and controlled, towards an environment allowing end users to choose from a broad catalog of devices as well as use their own devices. One year later, the result is spectacular: in 1 year mobile device count grew 59% up to more then 43.000 devices. iPhones take up 40% of those devices, BlackBerry 32% and Cisco IT now sees a rapidly growing community of Tablet users (15%), as well as Android device users (10%).

Can you block/ignore this evolution ?

No, difficult, as many customers mentioned us their upper management were the first to bring in the iPhone, iPad and other devices. Difficult to say “no” to them, although they might carry the most sensitive data and therefore carry the greatest potential security risk. So, how as an IT department can you accept and guide this evolution, taking into account the security risks ?

What happens when you say “yes” ?

First of all, it answers a real demand from the end users and leads to a more satisfied and productive end user community. As IT, you are addressing what Peter Hinssen mentions : “Work being that moment in time when you use old technology” (see Peter Hinssen : “The New Normal”). As mentioned above, at Cisco it led to an enormous growth in mobile devices, and a broad spectrum of new operating systems accessing the network. The times of the desktop with the single operating system are clearly behind us. Often, this evolution will also go hand in hand with enabling new ways of working : allowing the employees to work from home, on the road or in the office (behind a desk, virtual desk, flex desk, in meeting rooms or meeting corners – (wired or wireless).

How will mobile data usage evolve ?

An additional measurement of Cisco IT showed that the increased capabilities of the new generations of smartphones and tablets make data- and application access seamless, leading to a 40x increased data usage versus previous BlackBerry data usage. Therefore, it will be important to offload the devices wherever possible from 3G to a corporate wireless network for higher bandwidth and lower costs.

In fact, we need to move beyond looking at the access methods as such, and create an environment that allows the end user to connect seamlessly and transparently from anywhere to enable him to work in new ways : home working, working on the road, working behind one’s office desk, working in flexible desk environments, going wireless in meeting rooms and meeting corners, … This will require a going together of LAN, WLAN and VPN technologies into a seamless solution.

So, how can I start the journey ? How can Cisco help ?

First of all, as users access with new types of devices, you need to have the capability to discover which device they are using. Cisco’s Identity Services Engine with its unique profiling capability will give IT visibility on which devices access the network.

Secondly, you need to provide a strong standardized infrastructure to allow access from wherever needed : Cisco Virtual Office at home, mobile data services while on the road, a full wired and wireless LAN deployment in the corporate buildings.

Thirdly, as the end user wants access from different environments (without needing to be an IT expert), you need to provide him a uniform way of  access. Here, Cisco has unique capabilities to gradually evolve your LAN and WLAN environment towards a secure 802.1x environment. Cisco’s AnyConnect end device client can then incorporate VPN and 802.1x connectivity to deliver a seamless Access Experience, whether at home, on the road or in the office.

Finally, an adequate Security Policy environment is needed. As people can and will access the network with multiple devices – some controlled, some private – an evolution is required towards Context-Aware Security with Cisco’s Identity Services Engine as policy engine. This will allow IT to define the right security policies dependent on who accesses, as well as with what device, from where, at what time, …

In upcoming blogs, we will go deeper on each of the different above mentioned elements of the total solution.

Let’s start the journey !

The Power of Participation

Today, Cisco launched the “Power of Participation”, an important extension to both Cisco’s Borderless Networks architecture and Cisco’s Data Center Business Advantage architectural framework.

Why the “Power of Participation”? Because we are right in front of the third wave of the Internet Evolution. Wave 1 (1990s) was all about connectivity and transforming transactions (E-commerce, B2B, B2C). Wave 2 (2000s) was about driving inclusion and transforming interactions through social media and the consumerization of IT. Last week, in this blog, I mentioned some future trends: mobility, internet of things, cloud and collaboration/video. As these trends take full scale, they will fundamentally transform organizations and we will be entering Wave 3 of the Internet Evolution: an era of changed business interactions and new user expectations. In this era, end users will expect their collaborative, video-rich work environment virtually and securely Anywhere, Anytime on Any Device of their choice (the New Normal). They will demand a Borderless Experience giving them the Power to Participate optimally to business. In this new era, businesses will also demand to IT the Power to Participate and transform in an agile way into new and changing business models.

How will we enable this Borderless Experience and these new business models? Through an architectural Borderless Networks approach delivering uniform network services. In previous Borderless Networks launches, we already delivered network services such as Motion (driving Anywhere mobility capabilities); Medianet (supporting media-rich video collaboration), EnergyWise (driving energy control and building management) and TrustSec (driving secure support for Any Device and controlled access for Anyone).

In today’s announcement, we take an important next step in delivering Anywhere – Any Device capability with the launch of AnyConnect 3.0. The Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client provides a single 802.1x authentication framework, allowing smooth and transparent wired or wireless access and delivering a seamless Always-On secure (IPSec VPN, SSLVPN, MacSec, …) borderless connectivity experience  across a broad set of PC- and Smartphone-based mobile devices (windows, Apple iPhone, …) (http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/vpndevc/ps6032/ps6094/ps6120/data_sheet_c78-527494_ps10884_Products_Data_Sheet.html). Advantage for the end user: the ability to access and use his business applications seamlessly and securely – without any technology complexity – whether on the wired network at work, on the wireless network in a meeting room, on a wireless guest net, on the road or at home. Advantage for the IT department: being able to open up the access policy to a broad set of devices while still guaranteeing security compliance. This solution also allows to take advantage of cloud-based services while maintaining consistent security policies towards the applications, whether in the on-premise datacenter or in the cloud (www.cisco.com/go/anyconnect).

A Borderless Experience also requires a perfect end-to-end application experience. To enable this, Cisco announced the Application Velocity network service. This network service delivers a network that is application aware, has application visibility and monitoring capabilities, can accelerate applications (WAAS express, WAAS on the Integrated Services Routers ISR-G2’ Services Ready Engine (SRE) (www.cisco.com/go/appvelocity) and can deliver application agility and extend application virtualization up to the branch office (Unified Computing System (UCS) on the ISR-G2 Services Ready Engine (www.cisco.com/go/ucse)).

The launch also considerably expands the network infrastructure in terms of high density and high performance through new announcements in the wireless offering (1040 access points), the Catalyst 4500 platform, the high-end ASR routing platform, the new high-end ASA5585 firewall, the LMS4.0 management platform and EnergyWise.

To enable you to take a fast start in this important network transformation to a Borderless Networks architecture, Cisco has created detailed Validated Design Guides that can help you on your journey: the Smart Business Architecture for mid-sized networks and enterprises  (http://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/ns340/ns414/ns742/ns982/landing_sBus_archit.html).

So, who is the person on the picture above? Well, meet Ike Theodore (IT) Willis and follow him towards the Borderless Networks challenge, Oct 5th – Oct 8th and take the chance to win a trip to see Your Wonder of the World: www.cisco.com/go/challenge.

For more info on the announcements, please go to www.cisco.com/go/borderless.

Oh Crystal Ball …

As an IT department, you are asked to be ready to enable future business directions and related changing end user requirements, enabling productivity increases and efficiency improvements.  But what are those upcoming requirements? What do you need to prepare your IT infrastructure for? When asking the question to your business departments, it might appear that they also have difficulties answering this.

Still, there are already some tendencies appearing that will underpin these business direction changes and, in one way or another, will fundamentally change the IT infrastructure you need to provide. These tendencies all have a direct impact on either or both Cost Reduction/Productivity Improvement or driving Innovation/increasing Differentiation, fundamental forces that will always keep on driving change in companies.

Mobility for sure is one of them. Your company’s workforce is only sitting a low amount of their time behind a fixed desk. They spend more time in meeting rooms, in a virtual desk environment, in flexible workspaces within changing project teams, on the road or even increasingly from their home office. Your companies’ workforce might even go beyond the corporate borders due to increased collaboration with external teams and partners. So, you will need to be able to provide an IT experience wherever the end user would like to connect. The border of location, previously tied to the fixed desk, has disappeared and you will need to provide the end user with a Borderless experience.

Cloud computing is entering the IT landscape. Companies are still figuring out up to what level they need to integrate and take advantage of cloud based applications and business models. Whatever the outcome, IT departments will need to enable high quality and secure access to both applications in the datacenter and applications out in the cloud. So, the location border, both of the end user AND of the application that he wants to access, has gone. IT departments even need to check whether they are still in the path between the end user and the application, especially since the IT department will still be requested to guarantee security and data integrity.

More and more devices of different types will connect onto the network: The Internet of things. Where once an IT department needed to foresee a standard corporate desktop PC and a mobile telephone, it is now faced with an increasing amount of diverse devices connected to the network. Sometimes, these devices are controlled by IT; sometimes they are brought in by the end user and are less IT controlled. The Blackberry was one of the first devices requested directly by end users, imposing IT to support it on their network. This user-driven evolution only increased with the rising popularity of the iPhone, Blackberry devices, Symbian devices, Android devices, the iPad, the Cisco CIUS, … Cisco’s IT, for example, acknowledged that a standard desktop and mobile was not maintainable anymore, and moved to the support of a full catalogue of devices, allowing people to use devices that optimally support their personal business requirements. Beyond that, new non-user based devices are becoming IP based: access control devices, physical security camera’s, building management sensors. In short, the device border is disappearing. IT needs to adapt to these increasing demands in supported devices and non-user devices on the network, while of course maintaining a coherent and uniform network access control policy.

Finally, after decades of productivity improvement through process optimization, companies are now seeking the next wave of productivity improvement through increased collaboration. Being able to flexibly bring the right people and specialists together to solve problems or accelerate innovative ideas, being able to take advantage of the knowledge in a globalised world, drive richer interaction with customers to increase their customer experience, satisfaction and loyalty will all be important drivers behind collaboration. So, IT departments need to be ready to support the next wave of collaboration tools. Where today this translates into the movement from telephony to IP telephony to Unified Collaboration, this will increasingly mean the usage of rich video to increase the impact. Get the expert – from wherever in the world – in front of your customer in a High Definition real live experience, bring teams dispersed worldwide together in a seemingly same meeting room, drive video rich messages to your customers, … The result : a much higher level of impact and interaction. Based upon my own experience with several collaboration tools, I can only confirm that the level of attention and efficiency of a video based Telepresence meeting approaches the one of a live meeting, and is way above the impact of a voice-based conference call. The IT impact: an important increase in bandwidth requirements (video is already more than 50% of the bandwidth on Cisco’s network), and a network that needs to be aware and be able to cope with rich media and video.

Can we see into a Crystal Ball … not really. However, you will have recognized several of the above mentioned changes starting to play into your IT environment. We can help you to move forward in this challenging journey through our Borderless Networks architecture. This architectural approach goes beyond switch ports, access points, speeds and feeds; but will combine these network infrastructure building blocks to interoperate together to drive infrastructure functionality that addresses above mentioned IT challenges :

– Mobility: Cisco Motion & CleanAir, Cisco AnyConnect and Cisco TrustSec

– Cloud: Cisco AnyConnect and Cisco Application Velocity

– Internet of Things: Cisco TrustSec and Cisco EnergyWise

– Unfied Collaboration and Video: Cisco Medianet

For more details on each of these functionalities, please visit: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/ns1015/solutions.html

Let’s confidently start the journey …

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