I said it in another article, but it’s worth repeating:
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and the consumerization of IT may be overused asmarketterms but they are unquestionably a trend that is changingnetworkarchitectures in almost every enterprise. In a recent survey by Dimensional Research of 750 front-line IT professionals, managers, andexecutives, 87% say that today their employees already use personal devices for work-related activities.
A corollary to that is that 72% of the devices they’re talking about are Apple devices. So, lets face it, a key issue facing enterprises today with BYOD is once you get the devices on the network, now what?
- How are you going to configure those devices when you don’t own them?
- How will they actually become “productive members of corporate society” when they can’t print or project or share files and so on and so on?
- Does anyone really think that once these Apple devices are on the network there won’t be a demand to actually use them?
You can plaster your website with images of iPads all day long, but when BYOD basically centers around Apple devices (particularly in educational institutions), what do you do to make them actually productive devices? And without making your IT staff pull extra pager duty answering calls about problems using their devices? This is the other 50% of the equation, and arguably the more important 50%!
This is where Apple’s “Zero-Configuration Networking” or, in technical terms, Bonjour protocol becomes critical to taming the BYOD beast and allows you to provide real, enterprise-level service to participants in a BYOD program.
Imagine these scenarios:
- A school district where each TV cart has a $99 Apple TV and as the teachers change rooms, instead of shuffling equipment around they simple connect to the Apple TV and project from their computer.
- Teachers printing to the printers in the library or administration offices without needing to configure archaic print queues or IP addresses.
- Enterprises that can have employees bring their own iPads (saving capital expenditure). This would allow them to take notes, present, and even print to any printer, thus making them as productive as they were with a laptop.
The key here is this can all happen without needing to ever touch the employee-owned device or the teachers’ laptops.
Zero-Configuration was a great idea when Apple was addressing consumers in the home. In the educational system and within enterprises, the concept is a game-changer. For those who don’t think they need to consider how to take advantage of Zero-Configuration Networking you only need to consider that many people thought the same thing about Wi-Fi itself not too long ago…
You can read more of the interesting coverage this announcement has gotten so far:
- How to Print From iPads Across Your Enterprise
- Mobile Device Management: Service Aware Networks for Apple Devices and BYOD
- Aerohive adds enterprise-wide Apple Bonjour support for iPhone and iPad
- Aerohive’s Bonjour Gateway enables long distance iPad and iPhone printing support across enterprise
- Aerohive's Bonjour Gateway Tackles Apple-Related BYOD Hassles
- Let’s Virtualize Everything