When it was first introduced, the iPad was predicted by many to become a laptop replacement. While many use their iPads and other tablets in lieu of their laptops in many situations, the prophecy was far from accurate.
Think about it: As you head off for the office each morning, how many devices do you bring with you that will soon connect to your corporate WiFi network? Very likely at least two, if not more. You have your tablet along with your iPhone or Android or other WiFi-enabled smartphone, and you likely have a laptop either with you or waiting for you at the office. And depending on your corporate policies, you may even have separate business and personal smartphones.
Instead of replacing existing technology, the mobile explosion has, instead, brought supplemental devices into corporate WiFi environments, with users looking to have the most convenient devices for every situation.
It’s not a bad situation, since it allows users to be more proactive and efficient in their activities, ultimately leading to increased revenue.
But, for IT managers, the onslaught of WiFi-enables devices can be a headache, as they now have to deal with a multitude of devices – different platforms, different brands, some corporate owned and some personal.
From managing authentication and permissions, to installing and updating applications and corporate resources, to deploying appropriate security measures, to simply ensuring proper design and deployment of WiFi networks, IT staff can have their hands full in today’s mobile mayhem.
The number of WiFi devices in corporate environments is only going to grow – in addition to an iPad, you’ll start seeing more and more Android tablets, perhaps some BlackBerry Playbooks, even some Amazon Kindle Fires – and who knows what else. And let’s not forget the imminent launch of the iPhone 5, which is sure to bring new users to with wonderful world of WiFi.
Knowing this, IT staff and managers would be wise to have a firm handle on how to effectively manage this influx of WiFi devices and the ensuing traffic they will bring to corporate WiFi networks.
To get started, I invite anyone who has a role to play in deploying or managing WiFi networks to join me for a Webinar designed specifically to address the BYO wireless device party we’re all a part of. I’ll be joined by Keyur Shah from Aruba Networks, which specializes in enterprise wireless infrastructures, and Keith Broadbent from Carousel Industries, a technology consultant and integrator experienced in helping businesses assess and deploy the right technology for their needs.