Are Asia Pacific networks geared towards enabling the mobile worker?
We’re on a journey to discovering how Asia Pacific organisations are enabling the mobile worker. In my previous posts, we explored connectivity and convergence in Asia Pacific, as well as BYOD and CYOD as trends in enterprise mobility. This week, we’re exploring if (and how) networks in Asia Pacific are enabling this shift in workstyles and away from the desktop.
The modern worker’s primary productivity tool is their device. From the moment a knowledge worker wakes up, they are able to access corporate data which enables them to do their work on the go (while travelling to work, meetings, seeing clients, even sitting at home).
I’m sure many of you are familiar with the joys (and pains) of telecommuting. Without network access, we cannot hope to effectively and efficiently complete our tasks. This type of productivity hinges on the network − and network singularity – which represents the cornerstone of a successful enterprise mobility strategy. The network must deliver a single, seamless experience, irrespective of whether users are on campus Wi-Fi or hotspots, home- or branch-office LANs, or mobile broadband networks.
As a result, IT is under increasing pressure to enable the network to support this move to enterprise mobility freedom. We’ve seen it recently in our own office in Singapore with the implementation of high density, high speed access points in 40% more locations to support greater collaboration and increasing number of video calls.
So how does an organisation deliver a network to support the mobile worker?
Findings from Dimension Data’s Network Barometer Report 2015, show that enterprise mobility is dependent on pervasive wireless connectivity which, in turn, requires at least three basic access port features:
- Power-over-Ethernet (PoE)
- Gigabit Ethernet on the client side
- Multi-Gigabit uplinks.
The research also shows that organisations are beginning to meet these demands. For example, there was a 14% increase in deployment Power over Ethernet (PoE) enabled switches over the last two years, a trend expected to continue with currently only around 65% of all switches PoE enabled, coupled with the explosion of “smart” device usage and demands for centralised control.
However, whilst there is progress, other findings suggest there’s a long way to go in supporting mobile workers; for example, the vast majority of network devices in Asia Pacific (74%) are still not able to support advanced wireless and mobility requirements, with most access points still of the 802.11g variety, supporting a theoretical maximum throughput of 54mbps – challenging when you consider the increasing number of wireless devices demanding a connection.
So there’s a huge amount to consider on the network side when supporting the modern mobile worker, and that’s just getting connected. Next we’re going to have look at how we’re dealing with securing those connections and how this is embedded in a modern and progressive mobile strategy.