The Challenges of Wireless Data

This is the information age, with corporate global performance dependent on leveraging huge databases of enterprise information.   The advantage goes to those companies that enable their diverse, distributed workforces to have all current information that they need, exactly when and where needed, securely and economically.  

But only personnel on enterprise campuses enjoy the rich environment of immediate, secure and economical access to complete, up-to-date enterprise information.  Off-campus, mobile workers are limited to receiving minimal text-based information or suffering slow downloads via multiple, fragmented access technologies.

There are three major obstacles to sharing the enterprise information environment with mobile workers.

Limitations of Wireless Networks

One major obstacle to sharing the enterprise information environment with mobile workers is the limitations of wireless networks.  There are two distinct wireless networks to serve mobile workers: cellular (wireless wide area networks or WWAN) and WiFi (wireless local area networks or WLAN).  Because these networks do not interoperate and each has its own functional limitations, delivering the on-campus enterprise information environment is technically impossible, now and for the foreseeable future.   

In summary, the technical limitations of these networks include:

  • Gaps in network coverage
  • Less than 90% network reliability
  • Slow data transmission speeds
  • Lack of seamless interoperability

Any one of these deficiencies is a significant problem; collectively, they have been a severe obstacle.  Moreover, some of these deficiencies are exacerbated during peak workday periods, when enterprise data is most needed by mobile workers. 

Faced with these fundamental network limitations, all current wireless data devices can only offer partial solutions with limited functionality that fall far short of ubiquitous sharing of the enterprise information environment. 

"Enterprises face potentially crippling loss if information such as personal communications, personnel records, customer data, and internal documents is inappropriately changed, accessed or stolen... Mobile devices represent a massive security risk... It is only a matter of time before these devices act as conduits for malicious and unauthorized access to enterprise assets."

IDC

For more information on the constraints of wireless networks, go here.  For more information on the limitations of current wireless data devices, go here.

Challenges of Mobile Data Security

Implementing mobile data services presents a severe challenge to protecting enterprise information because security of mobile access devices is minimal to non-existent. 

Moreover, enterprise security requirements are skyrocketing because of business-wide regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley and because certain industries face special mandates for rigorous data security (e.g., HIPAA regulations for the healthcare industry).  In addition, security challenges are compounded because certain information needs to be accessed by a changing cast of mobile non-employees (e.g., advisors, contract workers, vendors) as well as employees.

Safely extending the corporate information environment requires an enterprise-grade solution to security, so that enterprise information off-campus is at least as secure as it can be on-campus.  This means that any wireless data solution must provide enterprise-grade authentication, encryption and remote administrative controls.

For more information on the challenges of mobile data security, go here.

Challenges of Mobile Data Implementation

In addition to security, implementing wireless data services presents enterprises with special technical and economic challenges not encountered with on-campus or voice services. 

Even simple text-based services put great pressure on already burdened IT organizations to support multiple users on multiple wireless networks using multiple devices such as notebooks, tablet PCs, PDAs and smartphones.  And, as depicted in the following table, an enterprise confronts increasing complexity and effort trying to provision more complete wireless solutions for higher-value, more mission-critical data:

"highly secure solutions available on multiple terminals at a low cost to implement and support across diverse user groups - a sweetspot the industry has been unable to hit."

Source: Strategy Analytics

A true enterprise-grade wireless data solution should be easy and affordable for businesses to implement no matter how varied the data, how large the mobile workforce, or how diverse the mobile device population.

WIPS - The Enterprise-Grade Solution

To really fulfill burgeoning demand for robust wireless data services requires an enterprise-grade solution that:

  • Takes advantage of current and future wireless network capabilities without suffering from their limitations
  • Provides security equivalent to that available on enterprise campuses
  • Enables easy and affordable implementation for all mobile workers.

The only enterprise-grade solution is WIPS, based on Rosetta-Wireless?s Secure Mobile Enterprise platform, which you can read about here.