New global research from Aruba Networks shows that consumer mobility truly arrived in 2013 - over half (57%) of consumers in the developed world now own three or more connected devices.
Looking to 2014, this demand for mobile devices shows no sign of abating, as 42% of consumers plan to purchase a tablet and a further 34% will acquire a new smartphone.
With a large number of these devices already sitting on enterprise networks – Aruba is predicting a marked shift in how businesses manage BYOD policies in order to engender employee trust and productivity.
“Across most enterprises, the last few years have been focused on making sure BYOD was secure and reliable,” says Chris Kozup, senior director at Aruba Networks.
“2014 will see businesses shifting their strategy to focus on empowerment, looking at how businesses can place BYOD/X into the hands of their employees and ultimately enhance their business”.
Global research from earlier this year reveals that 53% of consumers are already bringing their personal devices into the workplace in order to help do their jobs.
But figures suggest 45% of consumers are concerned that declaring their device to their employers would result in the loss of productivity or even interference with personal data, suggesting the issue of employee trust must still be overcome within BYOD.
Kozup predicts four major shifts on the horizon:
Mobile employee power shift
In 2014, IT departments will give end users more control over their mobile devices and access than ever before, so that IT can focus on managing the network and improving the user experience.
Tasks previously handled by IT such as onboarding and provisioning new mobile devices and giving network access to guests, can now be turned over to end users, easily and securely, wherever they are.
Unified comms on the move
Modern Wi-Fi networks have helped usher in mobile unified comms (UC), by gaining visibility into the traffic and by communicating directly with UC systems.
This allows for reliable, high fidelity voice and video over crowded enterprise Wi-Fi networks and, for the first time, gives IT administrators an end-to-end view of a UC call for management, reporting and troubleshooting. With the Wi-Fi network allowing IT to gain better visibility and control, mobile UC will become mainstream in 2014.
New mobile infrastructure will allow for a better app experience
In 2014, software defined networks (SDN) will begin to play a greater role in mobile infrastructure, enabling a better app experience for end users. With SDN, mobile networks become more dynamic, adapting in real-time to changing conditions and application requirements.
Ultimately, this means an enhanced and more personalised experience for end users. SDN enables mobile networks to talk to applications and other networks in order to adjust things like data path and priority on-the-fly, optimising the mobile experience in real-time.
High speed, high productivity
2014 promises to be the year of Gigabit Wireless with technologies like 802.11ac becoming mainstream. With enterprise access points promising wireless speeds in excess of 1.2 Gbps and new devices from Apple, Samsung, HTC and others supporting the new standard, businesses can fully embrace the power of mobility for all applications – simply meaning that workers can get their work done remotely more easily.
Analysts predict that in 2014 the Wi-Fi device chipset market will be dominated by the new 802.11ac standard, signaling the need for businesses to ensure their infrastructure is ready.
“It’s not just about offering BYOD anymore. We’ve moved on from that; employees expect much more and if businesses get it right, they can reap the rewards in productivity,” Kozup concluded.