Ready or not, governments, healthcare providers, and schools are going mobile. If your workforce isn’t mobile yet, it soon will be: by 2013, 80 percent of businesses will support a mobile workforce (one that specifically relies on tablet technology), according to Gartner.
As I mentioned before, mobile employees will depend on telepresence and video collaboration tools to optimize their work experiences: these technologies do a wonderful job of filling the gap in personal interaction that can occur when an entire office works outside of the actual office.
But telepresence and video are only as good as the networks that support them.
As organizations issue tablets en masse and open their networks to employees’ (and students’) personal smartphones and other devices, they have to ensure security and well-managed network resources. Properly supporting mobile workers requires a strategic approach to the network. While every organization will have its individual needs, several key components are necessary to ensure safe, quality video experiences.
First, organizations need a network optimized to support video. A medianet is a network that gives priority to video traffic and delivers an excellent video experience without downgrading the performance of other applications. Organizations can convert existing IP networks into medianets. Some medianets, like Cisco’s, incorporate security features that recognize and authenticate mobile devices that join the network. Likewise, these comprehensive medianets have built-in monitoring capabilities that let network administrators control for quality and performance across the network as a whole and within individual telepresence connections.
Beyond the medianet, it is important to base a network on an architectural approach that allows for scalability and granular policy control. As more and more mobile devices enter a network, the network’s bandwidth needs to be able to scale to meet ever-increasing Wi-Fi demands. Likewise, as the number of attached devices multiplies, networks need built-in, customizable access controls that can track all of the hardware relying on the connection.
They may sound complicated, but these networking solutions really are simple, and they should be standard for any network supporting mobile video and telepresence.
So what do you think? Is your network ready to support a thriving mobile workplace?