Aruba Networks CEO: Be Ready for Your Customers
The influx of smartphones, tablets and other wireless devices into businesses is making many employees more productive, but Aruba Networks is seeing firsthand how much strain this newfound mobility is putting on the enterprise IT and security. I spoke with Aruba CEO Dominic Orr about how the company is helping customers build out wireless networks.
Seize the moment
Aruba Networks sells technologies for managing wired and wireless networks. Three emerging trends are working in its favor, Orr said: 1) the workforce is becoming more virtual and mobile; 2) enterprise applications are being deployed on mobile devices and 3) servers for cloud-based applications are embedded in the data center. These trends are making it hard to define the enterprise security boundary. “It used to be so perimeter based and now it is very virtual,” he said. “For the increasing amount of time you’re not working at your desk, you have to redefine your access strategy.”
Someday enterprise networks will be designed without wired access. It’s already starting to happen in higher education, where dormitory buildings are going completely wireless. But an all wireless infrastructure depends on having “enough quality of service in the air,” to support high-density multimedia, Orr said. Meanwhile, many enterprises will continue to have lots of desk-bound workers. “I don’t want to give you the vision that everybody will not have a desk,” he added. “We’re just saying there is also enough of a market there for people who are untethered that need all of the quality of service and so on to support a company like Aruba.”
Lead customers forward
IT leaders may resist mobility, but they can’t win the fight. “You might as well get ahead of it and proactively set strategy and policy to address this,” Orr said. The smartest customers understand they’re not just providing wireless connectivity. “They’re focused on reorganizing their network security architecture and deploying a new network management network service model focused around the users and devices.”