You Told Us! Brocade ‘The Channel’ Survey says: Availability biggest issue in campus; and BYOD is about much more than mobiles
The results from the second ‘The Channel’ survey are in, and they once again provide some great insight on the challenges impacting our partners and customers.
Despite the hype - mobility is about more than mobiles
Despite news stories about some of the current challenges it faces, Blackberry/RIM seems to be holding its own against the Apple iPhone, at least in the eyes of the channel who participated in this survey. Asked “which mobile platform is best in your opinion?” Blackberry and Apple both secured just over a fifth of responses. What was really interesting was that more than a third of respondents claimed laptops/ netbooks will remain best overall – suggesting that claims of the laptop’s demise and that smartphones will become the device of choice may be over-stated.
Of course, laptops are ‘mobile’ devices pretty much as standard; and The Channel suspects what we will continue to see is a mix of devices being used dependent on circumstances. For example, anyone who travels knows that whipping out their laptop and trying to access email while running for the plane or waiting at the train station is less than convenient – which is when the smartphone comes into its own. On the other hand who has tried to create a PowerPoint deck on their smartphone? Or write up a 50 page report in Word? When at the client’s office or back at the hotel, the laptop reigns when it comes to ease of use. And that – ease of use for a given task – will likely be the ‘killer app’ when it comes to platform choice.
Of course, the tablet is positioned as the device that provides the best of both worlds: but is not seen by most as the device of choice with only 12.1 percent claiming the iPad is best for business. Whether this is about juggling a device too many, when a smartphone and laptop can seemingly cover all the bases, or about speed of adoption, is something only time will tell.
Either way, proliferation of devices and users adopting multiple access points to the network is a trend we can all count on, and one that will continue to have significant ramifications for the campus network.
Customers finding their campus networks creaking with availability the key issue
So it’s no surprise given the above that network availability was the second highest choice when asked “what is the biggest challenge for customers with regards to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)?” after security. While security remains the biggest challenge for most, network availability was the next biggest hurdle for customers, with wireless/ campus coming in third.
This view was further reinforced when we asked “what are the three biggest issues for your customers related to their campus networks?” Availability came out on top as the main issue, with 58 percent selecting this option. This was closely followed by the cost of managing and maintaining campus networks (55 percent) and performance and cost of purchasing campus technology coming in at just below 50 percent each.
While the bulk of investment has gone into data centre networks in the past few years, and understandably so, simple to use and maintain, scalable, highly available, high-performance campus networks are going to become increasingly critical. While BYOD may be about more than mobiles, the increasing levels of mobility among users is not in any doubt. More devices, mixed use of mobile platforms and less predictable surges in demand are going to become the norm.
For anyone interested in a cost-effective solution that delivers all of the above, visit our Effortless Networking™ pages on the Brocade website for more on our innovative and differentiating campus solutions.
A big thank you to all who participated in this survey, and please let us know your thoughts and add to the debate with your comments!