Outlook 2013: Wireless Computing & Communications

By Khali Henderson and Kelly Teal Comments
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BYOD, MDM and Cloud Dominate Business Mobility

The emergence of 3G and 4G networks and smart devices has ignited a revolution in the workplace. Wireless computing and communications has empowered workers to take their offices with them wherever they go. As much as this has enabled businesses to be more productive, it has also sparked more than a few fires for IT departments. Both the benefits and the challenges of business mobility present opportunities for channel partners.

Market Opportunity. More than three-fourths of the U.S. workforce — about 120 million people — will be mobile by 2013, according to IDC. It comes as no surprise then that U.S. business spending on wireless services will outpace wireline over the next five years, growing from $175.5 billion in 2011 to  $260.6 billion by 2016, according to data published in March 2012 by The Insight Research Corp. What's driving the boost in wireless connections? The evolution of mobile devices to include smartphones and tablets that can support multimedia applications required by a mobile workforce. Next year, 47 percent of enterprises plan to increase their IT budgets for mobile user hardware and 53 percent will boost spend on mobile apps, according to October 2012 data from Yankee Group.

In turn those devices and applications — an increasing number of which are employee owned — are creating a management and security burden for mobile businesses that presents an opportunity for savvy channel partners. The explosion in mobile device usage also is driving North American enterprises to upgrade their wireless LANs for added coverage and capacity, according to new data from Infonetics Research. The research firm said purchases of wireless access points are expected to grow by 15 percent by 2014.

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