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Mobility should no longer be considered a platform but rather a way of doing business. That was the message from long-time industry watchers during a panel discussion at COMDEXvirtual
A variety of factors are causing this shift including the explosive growth of smartphones, the Apple iPad and the general consumerization of IT, they said during a mobile computing session at COMDEXvirtual, the online conference hosted by CRN parent company Everything Channel. The show takes place November 16 - 17, and sessions are available on-demand until May 17, 2011.
"Today the demands are getting access to information anytime, anywhere, and the industry has begun to respond with hardware, software and infrastructure to support this demand," said Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, an analyst firm in Campbell, Calif.
"Smartphones have become pocket computers," said Barjarin who added that 887,000 smartphone devices ship per day, according to IDC research. What's more the iPad has become an extension of the laptop and is more portable and more versatile, he said.
As a result VARs and IT managers need to think about how their corporate applications support mobile platforms, the provisioning of those applications and the security of both the application and device.
It is important to create mobile line-of-business applications and have mobility embedded in the process, said Ed Carmody, director of mobile business solutions for Axispoint, a New York solution provider. As VARs and users build out those applications they need to introduce workflows and access to information with mobility in mind.
"Enterprises need to look holistically at mobile applications. There can be operational improvement if it is done right," said David Krebs, practice director for mobile and wireless at VDC Research, a market research firm in Natick, Mass. "There is evidence that productivity is increased 20 to 30 percent," he said.
Beyond applications, VARs and IT managers need to specifically think about device management and security management because sensitive corporate information is being accessed through personal smartphones.
"During the recession IT was more receptive to individuals bringing in their own devices and they would do some sort of support. But we are one breach away," said Krebs.
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