This week Gartner upped its 2013 forecast for IT spending by a $100 billion to $3.8 trillion. However, with network traffic soaring – 400% for global datacenter traffic and 600% for cloud traffic by 2016 – and 45% of networks expected to be obsolete by then, an extra tenth of a trillion here and there just won’t cut it.
While only one of the contributing factors, the explosion of Bring Your Own Device is clearly a growing problem, said Ennio Carboni, President & GM for Network and IT Ops Management Division, Ipswitch, a software vendor whose network portfolio accounts for around half of its business. “I have three devices. I’m part of the problem… (and) our customers are clearly embracing it (BYOD).
A new report from IDC indicates that most everybody is embracing BYOD, or at least smart connected devices. Shipments grew 29.1% year over year in 2012, crossing 1 billion units, largely driven by 78.4% year-over-year growth in tablet shipments, which surpassed 128 million in 2012.
CIOs are sick of BYOD, but they are so focused on prepping for its impact today (and catching up on what they should have prepared for in 2012), that they are missing the next big issues that will impact IT and network performance – in six months and next year, said Carboni. Organizations need to be looking at what’s coming, he added, including the facts that network design and infrastructure are outdated, with 80% of corporate wireless networks expected to be obsolete by 2015, according to Gartner.
BYOD involves a number of issues, including tracking which devices are in which environments, compliance, and wireless performance, he said. Over the last 12-24 months Ipswitch saw a huge increase in devices, and had to figure out what to do.
“First, we needed to understand what the potential population of the devices would be, the volume and impact of these devices. Once you’ve done that, you can get an economic understanding of the investments needed in infrastructure.” And if the budgets not available, then you have to turn to enforcement, and address compliance and security issues re rogue devices joining the network.
“I don’t think organizations are prepared from a planning or physical perspective to keep up with the number of devices coming. You will have lots of slow down, performance impediments. From that you will have the maturity model where budgets will increase and networks will catch up to the number of devices.”
There will be bumps along the way, and Carboni thinks IT will be part of the problem, until it is forced to respond to its users BYOD demands. There will need to be a partnership between security and the network/device performance camps. “There will be a great amount of chaos in that ecosystem which we will be able to help manage.”