The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to work trend is fast becoming a way of life, but managers and employees need more than the ability to use their own devices on the corporate network . They also want more flexibility in the way the work, including when, where and how.
The Cisco "Connected World Technology Report" found that more than 40 percent of college students and young employees said they would accept a lower-paying job that had more flexibility with regard to device choice and mobility rather than a higher-paying job with less flexibility.
Cisco says there's an easy solution: a unified wireless policy that promises to support a consistent user experience and simplify network management. The networking software is based on Cisco's Borderless Network architecture and connects wired, wireless LAN, cellular and VPN through Cisco's Identity Services Engine.
Dubbed Cisco Unified Wireless Network Software Release 7.2, the software is now available globally.
"BYOD is not just about connecting user-owned devices and allowing guest access ," said Rebecca Jacoby, senior vice president and CIO at Cisco. "It's about what you do after that. That's when things get interesting."
Consistency Key for Unified Communications
The key word with Cisco's solution is consistency. Cisco is promising to help IT managers optimize the experience for various users with any type of device, and any type of desktop -- native or virtual -- across the wired or wireless network.
"Dealing with networks and devices is difficult for network managers today because you have to set independent wireless policies for your wired and wireless networks," said analyst Zeus Kerravala, principal at ZK Research.
"Cisco is trying to make it possible for users to stop thinking about the concept of wired and wireless access. By creating a uniform consistent experience with users so they know what to expect. That's a big challenge for IT today. When users know what to expect they tend to be satisfied."
Balancing Security and Usability
As part of its recent BYOD announcement, Cisco updated its Identity Services Engine to version 1.1MR, which is scheduled to roll out this summer. The next iteration works to make it easier for users to self-provision their device without burdening IT. (continued...)