As PC sales decline the channel must embrace the alternative

Opinion

As PC sales decline the channel must embrace the alternative

Those customers hoping that they can keep iPads and smart phones away from their network are going to find themselves in the minority.

Users are already voting with their feet towards new devices, as the latest PC sale figures from Gartner show, and this is an opportunity for firms to think differently rather than to continue with policies and practices that are being overtaken by events.

Someone who sums up the changing landscape rather well is Chris Davies,general manager UK & Ireland at D-Link, who expects the current trends to continue and produce opportunities for those selling network management and security.

"As devices such as smartphones and tablets take over from laptops and portable PCs in the hands of the population, so organisations need to brace themselves to allow these devices in. It seems that the consumerisation of IT is now an unstoppable juggernaut so rather than attempting to ban personal devices, whether a home laptop or an iPad, organisations need to investigate exactly how to let them safely on board," he says.

And increasingly he is not alone in holding that view with plenty of others also advising companies to embrace changes rather than try to hold back the tide.

Of course from a channel perspective there are real benefits for those that opt to change their ways and open up the corporate network to other devices.

"These devices need a reliable wireless network in order to function...security will be paramount: devices will contain sensitive personal information and be an extra source of vulnerability for the organisation's own data. Network security and access must be tightly controlled, whilst there should be no opportunity for the wrong data to either enter or leave a device. If all these demands are met, then personal devices can become a useful tool," added Davies.

So those cynics who watch the launch of the iPad 2 and wonder if there is any money in it for them might well want to think again about the long-term consequences for their customers and their relationship with them.

This was first published in March 2011

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