The net impact of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

August 7, 2012

– by Tom Lyon, VP of Managed Services and Shane Roberts, Director of Managed Services

the multitude of consumer devices facing ITA member of our staff at Nexus was surprised to discover that his family of four had consumed 8.26GB of data in just one month.  After interviewing family members, it was pretty clear that the culprits were streaming and downloaded video along with Pandora radio.  But his experience got me thinking about the number one issue our customers talk about when we ask them to name the biggest network management problems they face.  Almost without fail, it’s how to deal with all of the consumer smartphones and tablets that are proliferating on their networks. 

Our customers, and our own experience here at Nexus, tell us that allowing users to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), significantly impacts the network infrastructure in three main areas:

  1. Bandwidth – If four consumers can use 8.26GB of data in one month, how much more will an executive, sales person or field technician generate that uses TelePresence to stay in touch, views high-quality 1080p video, and downloads multimedia documents like PowerPoint presentations, brochures, and comprehensive reports?  Our experience, and that of many of our customers, is that users consume bandwidth almost as fast as it is installed.  We’ve found that providing the bandwidth users need at a cost the company can afford requires an approach that includes policy (limiting devices or types of traffic), technology (bigger pipes, improved infrastructure), and operational improvements (better tools, more efficient processes).
  2. Security – It’s just a little scary to realize that the Vice President’s “business” tablet is also a toy for his/her nine-year-old son or daughter.  And, that both of them are probably making the four biggest smartphone/tablet security mistakes:

    * Downloading apps from unverified sources
    * Using an unlocked device
    * Using a device without a password or using a password that’s simple to break
    * Failing to keep the device’s OS updatedIT professionals know that it’s difficult to change user behavior.

    Therefore, it’s protecting the network that’s key.  We’ve found that single sign-on, context-based access rights, and SSL VPN’s – along with policy – can help insure that a nine-year-old’s mistake doesn’t result in a network intrusion.

  3. Storage – To users, storage is like bandwidth – the more there is, the more they’ll consume. However, all of that video, all of those documents have to be stored somewhere.  And for companies that must comply with Sarbanes-Oxley and other state and Federal laws, simply deleting all of the video isn’t an option.  We’ve helped our customers – and ourselves – to manage the storage storm by implementing robust storage area networking solutions and using virtualization to help cap costs. 

Mobile devices aren’t going away.  And, since companies can’t just stay on an unlimited data plan with their wireless vendor to cap mobile data costs (like our colleague), it’s important to prepare for their impact on network bandwidth, security, and storage.  

Information on Nexus solutions that can help solve BYOD issues is available at:
Identity Services
Network Security
Meet the Demands of End Users
Keeping Up with Bandwidth Demands
The Role of the Network in Data Center Virtualization
Overpaying for Your Communications Infrastructure
Managed Services Provides a Predictable Cost Model


EMR Readiness

June 26, 2012

Is your IT environment ready for an EMR implementation?

Does your organization have a plan for identifying the gaps in your IT infrastructure?

Can your data network provide secure mobile access?  

Is your organization in full compliance with regulatory mandates like HIPAA?

Alarmingly, most healthcare organizations do not have a technical infrastructure that is prepared to adequately handle the needs of an EMR system. The typical state of infrastructure includes spotty wireless coverage, poorly maintained servers, inadequate bandwidth, insufficient space and environmental controls in the data center,  insufficient security  and  redundancy, and poor operational management.

Written by industry veteran and Nexus Business Transformation Specialist Kathleen Gaffney, the EMR Intrastructure Readiness white paper is full of important technology and operational considerations. From Device Messaging to Wireless Coverage to Business Continuity Plans, there’s more to a successful EMR implementation than the patient records themselves. These 13 concrete recommendations will help ensure your implementation goes smoothly.

Download the whitepaper now!

3 Statistics to Make You Think – Round 2

November 9, 2011

This next segment of our statistics series will make you think (again!) about the ever-increasing volume of traffic moving over your network. With the bandwidth and storage demands of business video and unified communications tools, this topic is more timely than ever.

IT Must Become the Center of Business

February 3, 2011

The Gartner 2011 CIO Survey shows some pretty drastic differences this year in relation to the previous three years. In fact, in several ways it appears that the IT agenda has been flipped on its head.

The number one IT strategy ranked by CIOs this year is developing or managing a flexible infrastructure. This initiative ranked at #8 in 2010 and #11 in both 2009 and 2008. On the flip side, the strategy to improve/link the business-IT relationship has been either #1 or #2 from 2008 – 2010. Now, it’s in 10th place, at the bottom of the priority list.

However, these rankings may not give the right impression of what CIOs have in mind. According to Gartner:

“The first wave of the digital revolution measured an enterprise’s digitization by its Web presence; but by today’s standards, most enterprises have much work to do before they can become fully digitized (see figure below). Now they must become digital from the front office to the back office. This may not be easy, but it gives CIOs the opportunity to re-imagine IT as the center of the next digital revolution.”

Reading between the lines, this restructuring of IT from infrastructure to process to people that will be necessary to digitize companies will actually serve to link IT closer to business objectives as they seek to enable them. In fact, the next wave of the digital revolution will mean extracting more revenues from information as well as the ways in which technology is used within the organization.

One of the ways this will be accomplished is by embracing non-traditional IT models:

“New lighter-weight technologies – such as cloud computing, software as a service (SaaS), and social networks -and IT models enable the CIO to redefine IT, giving it a greater focus on growth and strategic impact. These are two things that are missing from many organizations.”

But this doesn’t mean success will come easily for CIOs. Two of the obstacles that must be addressed include delivering business benefits and improving IT skills to manage and evolve the new technology models to serve the business. Let’s face it, all IT projects these days involve some level of IT, but each and every project undertaken by a company is developed with a strategic objective as its goal. It’s all about the business.

Best Practices and Borderless Networks

September 1, 2010

We work, live, play, and learn in a world that has no boundaries and knows no borders. We expect to connect to anyone, anywhere, using any device, to any resource–securely, reliably, transparently. That is the promise of borderless networks.

In today’s connected world, business systems and processes are built to take advantage of the network. And just as business systems and processes are unique to individual customers, so too are their networks. Special network service requirements can be dictated by customer business model, or industry pressures, or geographic location, and on and on. The key to long-term savings is to design a network that ensures the effective and efficient delivery of premium service, no matter what the location or application.

Extensible systems and integrated services combine to multiply the value of the borderless network. Cisco’s wide-ranging portfolio allows freedom of choice for the customer. Designed-in hardware assists and a wide range of network and service modules help ensure that the network not only delivers rich services, but also provides consistent performance when services are turned on. Consistent services and common components also enable cost savings and operational efficiency.

Operating expenses typically account for 75 to 80 percent of the networking budget, so it makes sense that operational efficiency promotes the greatest network-related cost savings. Management expertise, policies, and best practices must all be applied across the network.

Beyond network-related capital expenditures (capex) and operating expenses (opex), you should also be mindful of costs that can be directly influenced by the network. For example, downtime results in lower productivity, customer dissatisfaction, and lost revenue. Underutilized resources result in overspending on systems and support.

Networking devices that support multiple services (for example, connectivity, security, voice, mobility, and so on) eliminate the need for specialized devices and reduce network complexity. Service intelligence and modular designs also extend the service life of equipment, protecting your investment over time. The result: capex and opex savings.

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