Viewpoint Keith Waryas
We asked Keith Waryas, an IDC research manager and lead analyst for wireless business network services, for his thoughts on what CIOs should focus on in preparing for the explosion of mobile devices.
Beware Mobile Support
What should CIOs focus on with the proliferation of connected devices?
When you start taking applications out to a wide area network, and you start talking about adding mobility to different types of applications through alternative devices—things like phones and PDAs—it starts bringing support for those devices onto the desks of IT professionals. And that can be a bit of a challenge, because IT's expertise is usually in supporting a client/server environment that's based on a notebook connected to a physical server inside a confined corporate environment. Now you're talking about supporting an application that's going to go on a wireless device that the IT guy has minimal amounts of control over, the company has minimal control over—and has no control over the [carrier] network. You're also talking about some of the holiest of holy information leaving your corporate firewall, and going out through a VPN connection, but still going over a proprietary network over which you have no control at all.
What about integrating voice and data? How should IT deal with that process?
Voice has a great tolerance for error, and a very very low tolerance for delay. Data, on the other hand—your e-mail, for instance—has a huge tolerance for delay and extremely low tolerance for error. Trying to manage that balancing act of controlling a single network with those two applications can be really tricky. So what we've seen is that a lot of these companies are looking to outside service providers, they're looking for outside help—sometimes in the form of infrastructure providers, sometimes in the form of pure services—to help make this process go easier.
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