Mobility is increasingly having a significant impact on the way businesses conduct day-to-day operations. With the growth of smartphones and tablets, mobile devices are becoming the preferred mode to stay in touch. Mobility has a major impact on the business itself, not just for managing the costs and ownership issues related to mobile devices, but also for IT in terms of BYOD-related challenges.
“We rely on several real-time tools now, and with that comes the expectation of being available or accessible pretty much all the time. Mobility is the best way to enable this, so it has a huge impact on end users,” said Jon Arnold (News - Alert), Principal, J Arnold & Associates, a telecom analyst and strategy consultancy with a focus in providing thought leadership and go-to-market counsel regarding IP communications and disruptive technologies.
With mobility and the cloud come security concerns, many of which have not been addressed by the market yet. Providing adequate security for data applications may be understood, but this can’t be said for IP-based voice, which works quite differently than data in a cloud environment.
“These types of applications have a short track record in the cloud, and haven’t likely had enough major security challenges for us to really know,” Arnold explained to TMCnet.
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Today, Unified Communications (News - Alert) (UC) and VoIP have moved beyond the early adopter phase into the mainstream, but issues still remain that businesses must contend with as they determine how to migrate to IP-based communications. So, there will still be basic concerns about VoIP’s reliability and quality, according to Arnold, and that will remain a given as the cloud moves into a more viable alternative to premise-based telephony.
“We saw this first-hand with Hurricane Sandy, where cloud providers who did not have enough data center redundancy could not provide service,” he commented.
An even broader issue for UC is the business case and getting decision-makers to see its full value. Unlike VoIP, UC’s appeal lies more in productivity gains than cost savings, and these can be difficult to quantify, according to Arnold.
Many analysts are predicting that 2013 will be the year the laptop disappears, but Arnold begs to differ. “Tablets have a long way to go to replicate enough of what a laptop can do to be a bona fide alternative. When netbooks came out, that looked like the laptop killer, but that trend has come and gone,” he said. “The laptop user base is too vast to disappear any time soon, but I’d say that scenario becomes more likely after another generation or two of evolution with mobile devices.”
There was some very disruptive technology in 2012, but Arnold predicts that Big Data applications driven by advertisers, who have access to overwhelming amounts of data based on our digital transactions and activities will take over this year.
“This will play out in new forms of highly targeted, in-the-moment forms of advertising, which in turn will give rise to new approaches to protect our privacy,” he said.
At ITEXPO (News - Alert) Miami 2013, aside from the sun and ocean, Arnold is looking forward to the continuation of a conference that has a solid following and manages to keep introducing new themes to help attendees stay current with the big picture.
He added, “The show is just the right size – it’s not overwhelming and still highly personal.”
To find out more about Jon Arnold and J Arnold & Associates, visit the company at ITEXPO. Taking place Jan. 29- Feb 1, in Miami, Florida, ITEXPO the entire community of communications and technology buyers, sellers, resellers, and manufacturers meet to forge relationships and close deals. Jon Arnold is speaking during “ Contact Center Customer Experience: More than “Can You Hear Me Now?”, “The Real Business Value of an Optimal Customer Experience” and “Turning the Demand for Truly Unified Communications into Revenue.” For more information on ITEXPO, click here.
Edited by Allison Boccamazzo