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Top 10 Enterprise Mobility Predictions for 2007

- December 21, 2006 - 2 Comments

“I always avoid prophesying beforehand because it is much better to prophesy after the event has already taken place. ” –Winston Churchill It is the time of the year where many of us are sprinting — or crawling on all fours — to the rest and rewards of the holidays. Seeing today is the winter solstice, I thought it an apt time to post my top 10 predictions for Enterprise Mobility for 2007. As the days start, again, to lengthen, let us see how accurate these will prove. 1. 2007 will be the year mobility means more than cell phones. For most people, mobility is exclusively tied to our mobile phones. While voice communications clearly will be one of the key drivers for enterprise mobility for many years to come, I think we saw a lot of other activity in 2006 that suggests more will be afoot next year. Access to horizontal business applications like SAP as well as specialized vertical applications in healthcare, insurance, government and every other industry will become the next drive. And as varied as the applications are, so we will see the utilization of lots of other mobile devices, including PDAs and mini-PCs ( In addition, emerging consumer variation of platforms like gaming devices -as we saw in the entrance of the Sony MYLO -will appear in 2007.2. Mobility services, more than access technologies, will drive the growth of wireless and mobile technologies. In 2006, Cisco introduced the concept of”mobility solutions.” Although Internet and LAN access has driven much of the push for secure wireless services, we saw our work in context-rich applications such as location-based asset tracking really start to take off (expect integrated GPS services also to start to play bigger). Also, rich handoffs and variations of unified communications services are likely to be a big winner next year as will guest services. Stay tuned for 4 new services in 2007.3. Mobility will become more about the experience. At their inception, we accepted performance trade-offs for the use of mobile networks and devices (remember, the opening jingle of the cellular industry 30 years ago was snap, crackle and drop!). But with increasing capability and quality, the bar has been raised. Increasingly, the performance of mobile networks is becoming richer, more bulletproof and bandwidth/QOS rich. To this, expect companies to take advantage of a more robust infrastructure by developing applications that are more mobile-aware as well as conditioned to take advantage of some of the inherent capabilities in mobility. For example, companies will make significant investments in making their webpages and internet-based applications appear/perform better on mobile (non-PC devices) as well as take advantage of mobility to provide location specific information in both business-to-business (e.g., municipal information systems) as well as business-to-consumer applications (e.g., local services)4. Expect significant increases in enterprise-wide (pervasive) WLAN deployments. As many of the initial security and management/performance issues for WLANs have been solved -and the cloud hanging over them dispersed — businesses of all sizes will see WLANs as mission-critical, specifying them in, alongside wired networks, as key infrastructure. Expect pervasive deployments to grow faster in the”office vertical” than the market growth rate for WLAN.5. Emerging markets will lead the way in wireless broadband as a primary access infrastructure. In many emerging markets, wireless data networks, including Wi-Fi Mesh as well as WiMAX, along with cellular, will offer new alternatives for primary broadband access. In existing markets with strong wired infrastructure, the marginal costs of adding new subscribers are very low. In markets without wired broadband, wireless technologies could prove very interesting, economically, as an alternative to wiring.6. Network Identity will emerge as a critical component of mobility services. Increasingly how you”are served” on the network will depend on who you are. Mobile network services will now offer services (bandwidth/QoS, security), capabilities (based on location or presence) and application access by knowing who you are.7. Gaming approaches will support mobile networks. As the generation of workers weaned on Internet or multi-party gaming join the work force, expect them to use mobile technologies to change the nature of work. So, lest you think I launched into spiked eggnog too early, let me explain. What is interesting about gamers is how they form together to start a game (guild). The leader (guild master) puts the game in play and then dissolves it when it is over. The next game may be led by another leader. To wit, project work can integrate people and information from a broad range of environments, whether people are in the same network or company, or whether than are in another country on a wireless connection. 8. The hype around mobile TV and advertisements will give way to corporate mobile video. With all due respect to the people watching ESPNMobile, I think a lot of short video may come from corporations reaching people via non-pc devices. What could be more useful than a salesperson about to go in being able to watch a video of the company’s best salesperson pitching their newest product on their TREO for 2 ½ minutes. Increasingly, video is making its way into business training and communications, not just YouTube, and that is something people will pay for9. Cellular operators will become open to new wireless access technologies. Although many cellular equipment vendors tried to cause a WLAN v. cellular technology religion debate over the past few years, increasingly carriers are looking at newer technologies as a way to deliver broadband data and other services. One of the clearest examples of this is SingTel’s decision to build a Wi-Fi mesh network across Northern Singapore. 10. Mobility will help drive the Internet of Things. Although much of the discussion around mobile technologies focuses on people communicating with people or people accessing information, increasingly devices talking to other devices is becoming important. This is the critical underpinning behind RFID and Active WLAN tags. In 2007, the language of location and tags will move more to asset optimization and the one of the critical aspects of Web 2.0: bringing analog assets into the digital world. What this last point means is that sensors, RFID and other capabilities will allow billions and billions of assets (goods, badges, blade servers, subway cards -you name it) to be recognized by the network and hence provide data and insight into how systems are run and lives take place. This will ultimately mean the 400M WLAN devices in service today will look like a drop in the bucket in comparison to the hundreds of billions or trillions of devices connected through wireless and mobile networks. Now, that sounds like Enterprise Mobility

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  1. In the book, The Tipping Point"", Malcolm Gladwell postulates how trends are initiated and get increased popularity. His theory is actually supported by the study of influential trends as to their patterns and factors. The 10 predictions point to a movement - a tipping point that is to come. In the years to come as we look back, let's see if 2007 is really the ""tipping point"" for Enteprise Mobility.Blessed Christmas & Rewarding New Year!"

  2. good info and im glad that mobile enterprises are expanding. i for one am actaully more excited about the new 3 x-series broadband mobile service. it can truly come close to pc broadband experience.(see)"