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Learning Center Experience
By Dr. Rhonda Chicone, Faculty Member, Kaplan University, School of Business and Information Technology
flexibility, and imagination are the ingredients to future IT success.
There is frequently a lot of talk about the “Internet of Things,” but
it’s hard to pin a definition to somewhat nebulous jargon.
Instead, consider its implications for day-to-day life, urges Dr. Jacob
Sharony, principal of mobile and wireless technology management consulting firm Mobius Consulting and an
adjunct professor of electrical engineering at Columbia University, who spoke
with Kaplan University.
“By the Internet of Things, we mean the connected home, the connected
car — by the year 2020, connected devices will increase ten-fold,” Dr. Sharony explained.
“Smart utility meters, cars, even warehouse forklifts are going to optimized
through the use of wireless connectivity.”
These day-to-day implications are even more pronounced in the
information technology sector. IT professionals have already been made to adapt
to a rapidly changing wireless landscape. As fast, effective wireless becomes
ubiquitous, it is going to become even more crucial for the IT professional to
evolve, especially amid this ongoing proliferation of boundary-pushing
“We haven’t seen anything yet,” said Dr. Sharony, who informed Kaplan
University that “mobility will only increase over time. When you are mobile,
you are connected and can know anything wherever you go, and furthering
education is easy and accessible.”
In the past, workers used devices provided to them by their employers. Because
implementing such technologies required additional manpower, many IT jobs were
created from the contracts forged between companies and the third-party vendors
from which they purchased such devices.
These vendor contracts were enterprise wide; many business principals
would use, for example, corporate-owned BlackBerry devices on various cellular
networks. Under such an arrangement, the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES)
would reside behind the customer’s corporate firewall. It would interface to the
corporate email server, syncing email and PIM (calendar, contacts, and tasks)
in a secure way, which resulted in an end-to-end secure solution.
Yet, soon thereafter other vendors penetrated the enterprise wireless
space, enabling corporate principals to access confidential email through their
personally owned devices such as smartphones. This trend trickled down to every
level of employee. As a result, IT was given the challenge of managing both
corporate- and employee-owned devices and the data that resided on them. This
created an opportunity that was seized upon by mobile device management (MDM)
vendors like AirWatch and MaaS360, whichentered the wireless space with
solutions to help IT. To make matters more interesting, their offerings were
not sitting behind the corporate firewall but rather in the cloud, with price
points hard to resist.
Flash forward to today and BYOD — “bring your own device” — is standard
operating practice at many corporations.
Though the traditional IT professional was a vendor specialist, their
role quickly changed, explained Dr. Sharony. “Before, IT was managing securing
the device to administer passwords and establishing a connection with the
device to the internal network. Today, IT is managing securing the data that employees have access to.”
There are many challenges that come with a BYOD enterprise mobility
strategy that includes policy, owner, security, legal, and access issues. To
help with the BYOD issues, you’ll soon start to see CYOD — “choose your own
device” — as a way to solve many of the BYOD problems. The IT staff will have
their work cut out for them.
The takeaway? As content moves to the cloud, these enterprise wireless
systems now have two flavors of systems: on premise and in the cloud (sometimes
referred to as “On Demand”). Nevertheless, there will continue to be a strong
need for IT to make sure the cloud infrastructure is secure, scalable, and robust
and that the user experience is consistently positive.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to staying ahead of the curve.
That’s why having the right education is key for any IT worker, regardless of
the industry where they eventually work.
For example, IT professionals in the finance industry must be able to
ensure the transfer of information through brokers and banks with bulletproof
security at every point along the way. Recent data breaches at some of the world’s most prominent financial
institutions underscore the need for IT professionals to be versed in all
aspects of a modern data center, from security best practices to resource
It’s not just about learning the skills you’ll need today — a good
education prepares you to be a lifetime learner and gives you the tools to keep
up with a field that evolves at the speed of business.
“In all of these examples,” explained Dr. Sharony, “solutions are
sophisticated. IT professionals need to be educated about all the
possibilities, and have an outward-looking view.”
The right education also imparts innumerable intangibles and soft
skills, like the ability to lead projects with authority grounded in knowledge,
and the confidence to communicate succinctly in a professional setting. These
are skills that are critically important for IT workers, Dr. Sharony stressed.
“Technology is changing so fast,
and at the end of the day employers want their IT to suggest a best-of-breed,
customized solution,” he said “That’s how IT will continue to add value.”
Kaplan University cannot guarantee employment or career advancement.
Rhonda Chicone is a full-time faculty member at Kaplan University. The
views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not
represent the view of Kaplan University.
We encourage you to share this article if you learned anything (#TIL) or found this useful information.
If you are interested in other technology career insights, we invite you to take a look at Kaplan University's Business Articles and Publication page and our Career Moves site, each of which periodically publish new articles and other content on this subject.
And if you are considering IT degree we invite you to find out more about our School of Business and Information Technology and explore Kaplan University's undergraduate and graduate degree offerings.
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