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Wireless Data Access: Not Just an Option Anymore

Wireless data access is quickly moving from a "nice to have" toward a requirement for business competitiveness. Seventy-eight percent of organizations have at least one wireless data application, up from 65 percent a year ago and 1 percent a decade ago, according to a recent report from In-Stat. Deployments often start with desktop applications and mobile VPNs, most often on laptops. Smartphones are the second most popular platform.

With many vendors--including IBM, RIM, Salesforce.com and Sybase iAnywhere--touting their mobile app development tools, expect more complex mobile applications to creep into the enterprise mainstream. Already, larger organizations are looking to deploy applications such as ERP, CRM, and sales-force and field-force automation.

According to In-Stat, about half of organizations allow end users to decide which carrier, plan and device to use, creating a headache for enterprise IT, which has to manage it all. Enterprises should manage plans centrally and develop policies that permit users some choices while making the group manageable. IT should also implement management tools and policies to address data auditing, security and budgeting. --Sean Ginevan, [email protected]