Networks are not ready for BYOD

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I just arrived in Las Vegas for the Interop show. The weather is gorgeous--mid-70s, dry and sunny. I'm not sure I want to return to Massachusetts.

The first speaker to kick off the formal conference (although events have been taking place since Monday) was Rob Soderbery, Cisco's (NASDAQ: CSCO) senior vice president and general manager for the Enterprise Networking Group.

During his keynote, Soderbery unveiled the results of a survey of 1,300 IT professionals, which found that 41 percent of respondents said their networks were not ready to support BYOD, despite deploying more applications than a year ago.

While 48 percent of those surveyed said that the Internet of Things would open up new business opportunities, 42 percent said that they were only vaguely familiar with the term.

Cisco's visionary chairman and chief executive officer John Chambers has been using the term Internet of Things to refer to the interconnection of people, process, data and machines through wired and wireless communications. Chambers estimates that there will be hundreds of billions of things connected to each other.  

The survey found that IT and networks are increasingly recognized as key business enablers; 78 percent of respondents said that the network is more critical for delivering applications than it was at this time last year.

In addition, alignment between IT and the business is improving, but unfortunately IT is not always involved when decisions are made, according to the survey. A full 89 percent of IT leaders collaborate with line-of-business leaders at least once on a monthly basis, but 76 percent admitted that applications are rolled out without engaging IT.

More than one-third of IT professionals said that they are brought into the application planning and deployment process late, either during the rollout process or the day before the rollout.

Keeping IT out of the loop in developing and deploying applications, particularly mobile applications, not only leads to unforeseen impacts on the enterprise's network, but also opens up the enterprise to security risks unforeseen by the app developers. This is why enterprises need to do a much better job of ensuring that IT is involved in the application development process, as well as in the purchase of cloud services and the use of personal mobile devices by employees. -- Fred