Productivity vs. cost: What you must consider before cutting the cord and mobilizing Your workforce

By Dave Berg, senior director of product management at Shunra Software, Network World |  Mobile & Wireless, enterprise mobility

Many wireless service providers are now reducing the amount of data that users can access per month. If your company works with large video or audio files, these data caps can be met surprising fast. At that point, your mobile workers will either experience a throttling of their data speeds (and therefore decreased productivity) or exorbitant overage fees.

Before fully mobilizing, you must also know how your existing back-end infrastructure will handle the stress of mobile users. Given that the latency of a mobile device is inherently more than what is experienced by broadband users, if 5% of your workforce is mobile, they could easily be using 50% of your server resources. Add that to an infrastructure currently operating at 60% capacity, and you've got a recipe for disaster. If you can avoid a server crash, service will be greatly slowed for all users, not just mobile workers.

Another IT consideration for a successful mobilization effort is how to support the myriad mobile devices used by your workers. Troubleshooting, security and support are relatively efficient when you are dealing with common hardware and software systems in a centralized workplace. With mobile, unless you expend considerable capital upfront to invest in a uniform hardware and software platform, you are looking at multiple devices, operating systems and networks, each with their own unique set of IT challenges.

Does your IT staff have the knowledge to fix iPhone 4S issues? How about bugs in applications that run on the new Android Jelly Bean OS? How do they handle these issues when the person who is having the problem is not down the hall but 3,000 miles away? Mobilizing your enterprise apps across multiple platforms requires both the upfront cost of mobilization and the continued cost of optimization for each successive device and operating system.

TECH DEBATE: Mobile security: In the device or in the network?


Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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