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65% of Organizations Will Be Wireless by 2007, According to META Group; Advice to CIOs: Address Potential Challenges Before ''Unwiring''
[October 19, 2004]

65% of Organizations Will Be Wireless by 2007, According to META Group; Advice to CIOs: Address Potential Challenges Before ''Unwiring''

STAMFORD, Conn. --(Business Wire)-- Oct. 19, 2004 -- By 2007, 65% of companies will deploy at least one wireless application, according to research released today by META Group, a leading provider of information technology (IT) research, advisory services, and strategic consulting. Messaging will top the most-wanted application list, with 50% of organizations enabling wireless e-mail within three years and 75% within four years. However, META Group projects that e-mail will serve merely as a starting gate for the enterprise wireless movement, not the finish line.

"As users grow increasingly comfortable with wireless e-mail, they will demand more sophisticated technology," said Jack Gold, vice president at META Group. "Companies will respond by deploying mission-critical wireless applications that address asset management, logistics, delivery, and a host of other enterprise needs. Moreover, as the types of applications increase, so too will the size of the deployments."

META Group expects that within two years companies with wireless pilot initiatives will slowly expand the scope of deployment from a limited number of seats to installations totaling thousands of users. Further, organizations will move toward large-scale departmental or corporate deployments. However, despite the trend toward increased scale, the average wireless deployment will remain limited to 100-200 users and cost corporations roughly $250,000-$500,000.

Due to the significant expense related to installations, META Group urges CIOs to address the numerous wireless challenges before moving forward with deployment. Specifically, companies planning their wireless strategy will be faced with six critical issues to resolve:

1. Device Selection: CIOs must choose the most appropriate device for their specific application. In selecting devices, CIOs must think about whether a single device can solve all user needs, who should own the device (the organization or the user), how the devices will be managed, and how costs will be allocated.

2. Security: CIOs must identify how wireless applications fit into corporate security standards. They must also address end-user issues as they relate to security: Can users be trusted to retain data securely? How will the enterprise handle lost or stolen devices?

3. Connectivity: The network issue should be top-of-mind for any CIO considering a wireless deployment. CIOs must identify the most appropriate type of network and justify the cost of that network. Equally important, the CIO must consider multiple connection capabilities and service provider alternatives.

4. Applications: The issue of applications opens a Pandora's box of questions that the CIO must resolve prior to committing to a wireless strategy: Should the organization deploy a thick or thin client? Should applications be synchronized in real time? Does the platform vendor provide mobile enhancements?

5. Management: CIOs must deal with the upkeep of devices with respect to repair and replacement. They must also have a strategy in place for upgrading antiquated technologies.

6. Cost/ROI: Finally, and perhaps more important, a CIO must understand and resolve the fundamental questions of cost and return on investment: How will ROI be measured? What will be the cost/benefit to the organization?

"The reality of wireless is finally catching up to the enormous hype that has surrounded the technology for years," said Gold. "However, there are still numerous challenges associated with deployment that cannot be overlooked. The smart CIO will spend time and resources evaluating business needs, identifying technology limitations, and calculating cost/benefit assessments before deploying wireless applications."

About META Group

META Group is a leading provider of information technology research, advisory services, and strategic consulting. Delivering objective and actionable guidance, META Group's experienced analysts and consultants are trusted advisors to IT and business executives around the world. Our unique collaborative models and dedicated customer service help clients be more efficient, effective, and timely in their use of IT to achieve their business goals. Visit for more details on our high-value approach.

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