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Apart from MDM and policy management, ensuring clients have a robust wireless network to support a mobile workforce is a must, solution providers told CRN. Older wireless networks may not be able to handle the multitude of mobile devices pouring onto them without compromising performance, and even newer networks may require additional access points.
"If you look at the amount of devices that [networks] are being attacked with, each user on average has about three," said Chris Knight, practice director of unified communications and mobility at Technology Integration Group, a San Diego-based solution provider and systems integrator. "And so to adopt [BYOD], the amount of access needs to basically quadruple, as well as the fact that we need to make sure that it's absolutely secure."
Knight explained that many of the mobile devices being brought into organizations are meant to support rich user experiences and a range of unified communications and tend to eat up a significant portion of network bandwidth. Because of this, wireless infrastructures that have been in place for years may need to be completely revamped. To determine if this is the case, Knight said he is sure to conduct initial "are-you-ready" conversations with clients, along with full architectural reviews to gauge whether current networks are BYOD-ready.
Solution providers also need to be able arm their clients with access to essential— and even custom—business applications on mobile devices.
The ability to access critical business apps on-the-go is a key driver behind the consumerization trend, and a top priority among end clients.
Technology Integration Group's Knight explained that clients generally have three choices for bringing custom business apps onto their smartphones or tablets: The first is virtualizing their PC desktops, the second is building apps and deploying them in-house, and the third is enlisting a third-party organization to build and deploy apps for them.
The first of these options traditionally has been the most popular, Knight said. But as younger generations, who rely less on Microsoft Office and Windows environments in general, continue to move into the enterprise, this will change, and the adoption of custom apps will increase.
"The next big leap, I think, is going to be customizing the [application] environment for the end user on mobile devices," Knight said.
Solution providers that can offer this service—the creation of custom-built and especially line-of-business apps—can not only reel in more revenue but position themselves as a one-stop mobile shop for their customers.