National Principal Architect
  • Mobility & Collaboration
  • Networking
  • Wireless
Not long ago, wireless access was a novelty—a cool way to disconnect from a cubicle at work, so you could move around the building or collaborate with colleagues in a conference room and still access to the applications and data you needed to do your job. Do you remember? Do you recall installing those first few wireless access points and walking the halls, laptop in hand, counting the number of bars you got?

Needless to say, much has changed since then.

From Wireless Access to Mobility

Today, we are a society on the move. Mobile technology has become part of our lives, and we expect wireless access—at home, at work, and everywhere else we go. In fact, according to Gartner, we will see 2.37 billion devices (PCs, tablets, ultramobiles, and mobile phones) shipped in 2016, including 293 million wearables. And our needs will only grow with the continuing evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Mastering mobile is no longer a “nice-to-have.” It is a must for companies wanting to appeal both to customers and employees. Customer experience (CX) is directly impacted by a user’s mobile experience. And, according to studies conducted by Forrester Research, leaders in CX drive more revenue.

For that to occur, businesses need an effective mobility strategy that addresses customer experience, data analytics, access, and security.

Customer Experience

How do customers perceive your company? Is your company seen as “in-sync” with digital business and “in-tune” with their expectations? Does your mobile strategy make it easy for them to do business with you?

Most of us (especially our customers) have made the shift to a “mobile-native” mindset. We want to use any device we choose and receive reliable service, regardless of what application we want to use or where the data resides. Customers expect convenient service and often determine who they will do business with based on their experience at every touch point—and today, the mobile experience is often the first interaction a company has with their customer.

Data Analytics

You can learn a lot about your customers and employees from how they interact with you. Does your mobile strategy appropriately use data analytics to help you better serve your customers?

With data analytics, organizations can derive real business value from their mobility solutions. Yes, mobile apps can track user behaviors and preferences, offering relevant content that can increase customer dwell time, generate companion purchases, and increase revenue. But it goes beyond marketing. For example – consider being able to choose the right hospital to rush to, based on emergency room wait time/volume, using a mobile app. Improving customer experience via mobility and data analytics is not limited to retail – any industry can benefit.

Access

Counting wireless bars should be in the past. Users expect consistent connectivity regardless of where they are located on your campus; they want easy access and a “wired-like” experience with the convenience of mobile. Will your wireless network provide it?


Today’s mobility design must support high-density as well as a variety of device types from different manufacturers. As a result, more time must be spent surveying user preferences and testing to deliver the performance users expect. It’s not good enough to test an HP laptop, an iPad, and an Android smartphone; you must test all supported devices types and models. In addition, you also must plan for Bluetooth low energy (BLE), virtual BLE (VBLE), and more.

Security

Mobility is about convenience and productivity. Hamper either one too much, and you risk disappointing users and losing customers. Relax security too much, and you create new threat vectors for hackers to exploit.

Profiling and posturing are essential for mobile security. Make sure to use a mobile solution that enables you to determine the type of device (profile) and the state of the device (posture) before allowing access. If the device is an iPhone, has it been jailbroken? If it’s an Android device, has it been rooted? Does the device meet the minimum state your organization will allow?

An effective mobility strategy delivers a positive experience while protecting user and corporate assets. To strike a balance between user experience and security, implement multi-factor authentication, single sign-on (SSO), and microsegmentation. And make sure all APIs are secured to guard against advanced hacking techniques.

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