What Tops the Agenda for Wireless and Mobility
in IT Departments?
Over the past year, we covered some exciting topics that also got a lot of attention in the press and in conversation with our customers. Five topics in particular continue to top the agenda of IT departments everywhere. Here they are, plus two new items that are already generating plenty of buzz…
Widely heralded as the most groundbreaking development in voice communications in decades, unified communications is surging in popularity. "Companies are looking at their mobile email solution and wanting to replicate the same kind of efficiency in their voice communications," says Heather Howland, from Ascendent Systems, a Research In Motion (RIM) subsidiary and leading provider of enterprise voice mobility solutions.
In a survey conducted at VoiceCon 2007, 83% of respondents indicated they are actively looking for, or are considering looking for, a voice mobility solution.
RIM’s new voice mobility solution, BlackBerry® Mobile Voice System (BlackBerry MVS) does for voice what BlackBerry® Enterprise Server does for email – it unifies fixed and mobile communications so mobile employees are always reachable through a single phone number whether they're at their desk or on the go.
Widespread adoption of enabling technology is driving the interest in voice mobility. Gartner predicts IP telephony technology will be the telephony system of choice at most companies within three years. (1)
Andrew Bartels, a research analyst at Forrester Research, calls unified communications one of the three "foundational technologies" that he advises CIOs to employ. The other two are service oriented architecture (SOA) and server virtualisation. (2)
More on Unified Communications and BlackBerry Mobile Voice System >>
Ensuring high availability is a top priority for IT business professionals who are under constant pressure to decrease recovery time for email, Web and database applications. According to Aberdeen Group, failover software is the killer app for those companies who realize that high availability requires more than simple backup and replication software.
According to Aberdeen, "Installing redundant physical systems throughout an organization is pointless unless there is failover software that acts like a switch; enabling critical applications to continue running and handling I/O workload even when a primary system comes down."
Failover solutions available today provide mail server and database protection across the entire mobile messaging environment, and reduce recovery time to a matter of minutes.
More on High Availability >>
According to industry analyst IDC, security is a critical, overarching area of concern with corporate data being extended to mobile devices outside of the corporate firewall. Today, what is top of mind to IT organizations is device-based security. Specifically, password protection, device wipe/device lockdown, and encryption.
In September 2007, BlackBerry Enterprise Solution became the world’s first Mobile Platform to Achieve Common Criteria Certification.
The Common Criteria is an international standard for validating that IT products meet specific security requirements. The BlackBerry Enterprise Server and BlackBerry device software have been independently evaluated by a third-party Common Criteria evaluation facility and meet the security criteria for EAL 2+. This evaluation assurance level is accepted under the Common Criteria Recognition Arrangement (CCRA) by 25 countries.
"RIM is a pioneer and longstanding advocate of wireless security," says Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at RIM. "This certification, along with numerous other security accreditations from around the world, further illustrates why so many security conscious organizations and governments have chosen the BlackBerry solution." (5)
More on BlackBerry Security >>
User profiling involves an in-depth analysis of a group of workers (usually by function) to clearly understand the work activities they perform when mobile. This is essential for most IT departments, whose mobile deployments continue to expand. (By 2009, 70% of knowledge work will occur from remote locations, according to Gartner Group.)
User profiling gives IT directors a very specific understanding of actual mobility needs of each worker group, helping IT departments avoid the danger of deploying wireless solutions based on instincts and assumptions alone, and then suffering when adoption rates and ROI fall short. Ultimately, this makes it easier to identify mobile applications that will deliver optimal value to the organization.
More on User Profiling >>
As BlackBerry solution deployments expand, IT departments require sophisticated tools for managing, monitoring and reporting across their entire messaging environment. This past May, Administrators got an introduction to proactive monitoring tools at the Wireless Enterprise Symposium (WES) 2007.
"Administrators at WES found these applications very eye-opening," says Jeff McDowell, VP Global Alliances at RIM. "Proactive monitoring systems give IT administrators end-to-end visibility within their messaging environment, from the smartphones all the way through to the mail platform," he says. "This lets IT evaluate bandwidth, monitor outages, and compare delivery speeds for detailed troubleshooting, improved quality of service and more strategic capacity planning."
More on Proactive Monitoring >>
As companies look to extend their IT investment, reduce IT workload and expand BlackBerry solution deployments, mobile network monitoring is satisfying the needs of everyone.
C-level executives value immediate cost savings and ROI from streamlined IT operations. IT Directors like the faster response times, low TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) and ease of implementation, not to mention the reduction in the duration of costly network downtime. And IT Administrators appreciate the ability to solve problems from virtually anywhere, without having to be in the office or connected to the network from their home. In this article IT professionals share their opinion on the value of mobile network monitoring, and Rove (formerly Idokorro Mobile) President and CEO, Rob Woodbridge, shares his insight on the topic.
More on Mobile Network Monitoring >>
Virtualisation, a mainstream tool for consolidating server applications, will continue to evolve as enterprises explore virtualisation on the PC and mobile devices. As with other technologies that enter the 2.0 era, security issues remain a key concern.
2008 will be the year to see if predictions from the 2007 IDC Virtualization Forum ring true. Among them, that virtualisation will become a sought-after tool for companies looking to plan for business continuity and disaster recovery.(3) At the forum, John Humphreys, IDC's program director for enterprise virtualisation, predicted about 50 percent of virtualisation will involve HADR (high-availability disaster recovery).
As emissions regulations increase, so too will the motivation for thinking and acting green. According to Gartner, the manufacturing, transport and use of IT equipment causes about two percent of the world's carbon emissions, on par with the aviation industry.(4) As a result, macro issues of reducing energy waste and carbon emissions have a big impact on corporate IT decisions.
The cooling of IT equipment and server energy efficiency will move up the agenda for IT executives, as they look for ways to reduce power consumption in data centers. Software for scheduling when applications run, to more evenly distribute energy usage, are among the solutions that will intrigue IT decision makers this year.(1)
For more on some of the topics above, visit the BlackBerry Connection® Archives. Plus, watch future issues of BlackBerry Connection for additional insight and expert advice on these and other hot topics in IT.
Wireless Enterprise Symposium 2008
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