According to the 2012 Cisco IBSG Horizons Study of 600 U.S. IT and business leaders, “BYOD is here to stay, and managers are now acknowledging the need for a more holistic approach — one that is scalable and addresses mobility, security, virtualisation, and network policy management — in order to keep management costs in line while simultaneously providing optimal experiences where savings can be realised.”

In its simplest form, an architectural approach is the methodology that contains each required phase that must be executed in a logical sequence in order to transform the infrastructure from its current state to its desired target state. A holistic, architectural approach provides an organising principle, a framework. It gives you a solid foundation on which to build and evolve IT.

The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend provokes many reactions from IT and businesspeople. BYOD is often seen as nice to have — as something that allows people to use the corporate network to tweet on their personal smartphone at lunchtime while also allowing them to check their work email over the weekend. The inevitable trend toward device consumerisation has given a lot of people personal computing devices far superior to those now provided by work. People would prefer to have these personal devices for both work and personal use and have the resulting freedom to work more flexibly. This, however, is not generally a justifiable reason to spend a lot of money upgrading corporate infrastructure. 

Let’s start by expanding the scope beyond BYOD to secure mobility. By “secure mobility,” I mean enabling employees with smart mobile devices so that they can transparently and securely connect to the corporate network to deliver business value. A real example of this would be an equities salesperson using an iPad when meeting with a high-value client to run through different investment scenarios in real time, when using a laptop would create a physical barrier with the client.

For me, this started with multiple requests from customers who had given the senior team iPads, and they simply wanted to connect up reliably to the
corporate wireless network. Next, security concerns and worries about allowing smart mobile devices onto the same network as sensitive corporate information and applications started to emerge.

The security concerns were founded on the lack of corporate control over the devices and the likelihood of the leakage of information stored on SD cards or
unencrypted internal storage or access to applications from unsecure devices that memorise passwords. These concerns can spread to governance and
compliance and can rapidly spiral into a black hole.

Some great technical solutions exist that allow you to transparently control access to individual applications and network resources based on a variety of attributes such as device, connection, and location. Hoorah, I hear you cry, and when you see a vendor demonstrate these systems to you, you will love the control, flexibility, and ease of implementing your new updated information security policies.

By taking an architectural approach, combined with a deep understanding of the underlying technology, Cisco Services is uniquely positioned to assist customers in transitioning to a unified workspace environment in which BYOD is a primary component. With end-to-end service offerings and a comprehensive partner ecosystem, Cisco Services has unparalleled experience in transforming an organisation’s infrastructure to meet the very latest mobility requirements and demands, allowing enterprises to maximise the benefits that a wellarchitected network can bring.

Mobile workspace challenges
  • Support rich collaboration services on a wide array of mobile devices
  • Rapidly scale virtual desktops without compromising quality of experience
  • Manage the increasing volume, variety, and velocity of data so that the right information can be accessed by the right people
  • Extend access not just to employees, but also to customers, partners, vendors, and suppliers
  • Determine which apps to mobilise
  • Effectively manage and secure both personal and business mobile apps while providing the consumer-like, self-service capabilities that users want
Architectural approach benefits
  • Protects legacy investments
  • Improves quality of experience
  • Makes changes to business processes possible
  • Enhances security, so intellectual property is protected
  • Allows you to plan for growth and future scalability
  • Minimises risk
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