Mobile technology is becoming an integrated component of today's enterprise, and it's putting more pressure on network administrators.
Smartphone and tablet usage within the office is just the beginning. The IPv6 protocol is likely to pose some challenges to network admins who may be concerned about whether or not their employers have enough bandwidth installed to support mobile workers. These and other developments may convince some admins that taking courses on specific networking solutions may be a smart idea.
Network access control is likely to be top of mind for many network admins, according to Enterprise Networking Planet contributor Sean Kerner. Kerner brought up distributed networking, a concept that has been prompted by the advent of virtual networks and software-defined networking.
Of course, the cloud has bolstered concern for NAC in general. The advent of private, public and especially hybrid solutions will encourage admins to focus more on how best to manage policies across multiple environments. This point also relates to the limited reach of network admins. Basically, workers are accessing enterprise software via unsecured networks, which opens up a number of security vulnerabilities that professionals don't have direct control over.
Kerner also noted that network policies will likely encounter gross revisions as the IPv6 protocol continues to be unveiled throughout the next year. For instance, big carriers are deploying it for mobile devices. One of the challenges that exists is that while IPv6 is generally supported on consumer operating systems, the situation isn't the same for many IT organizations.
Wi-Fi, retail and the Internet of Things
Network Computing contributor Edgar Figueroa acknowledged how network management is going to change throughout the next year, citing how a large number of retailers have made in-store Wi-Fi available to shoppers. They're not just doing it for experimental sake, either – the Wi-Fi Alliance and Wakefield Research discovered that 48 percent of consumers are more likely to patronize a store that offers wireless Internet. In addition, more than one-third of retail customers use their smartphones to research products while viewing them in stores.
The IoT is one particular trend that is going to drastically increase demand for available Wi-Fi. As each "thing" connected to the Internet will have its own unique network address, managing identities across a vast corporate network is likely to be a concern for network admins.
Preparing for the surge in Wi-Fi investment may necessitate further training and certification, depending on how well current professionals are prepared.