Wireless information appliances will improve overall performance and communications, but will also have an adverse impact as we see today with Blackberry devices. Many people who work with Blackberry devices disregard them during off hours as they become bothersome. This is detrimental as the instantaneous notification is usually expected to be answered immediately. We will see more of this affect towards these devices. On the other hand, those people who welcome the ability to be connected and available at all times will be more accessible and therefore viewed by others as in a better light, perhaps. These people will become the “go-to” people and increase others perception of them on the network. This will lead to reliance on in-house electronic social networking to promote the usefulness of improved connectivity. Realistically, organizations must be clear on the expectations of the responsibilities of having increased connectivity with these and other wireless information appliances.
Another issue with increased connectivity is the increase in the opportunity of exploitation. As Metcalfe’s Law states that a network becomes exponentially more valuable as the user base increases, the inverse of Metcalfe’s Law should also hold true in that the network becomes increasingly vulnerable with a significant risk in membership and the connections themselves. Security becomes exponentially important as the network becomes more valuable.
Whenever I talk about network security, I try to relate it to the brick-and-mortar world: Homes in rural areas with unlocked doors are more secure than the dead-bolted homes of the urban environment.