Mobile IT is in for one heck of a ride


My hotel room in Las Vegas overlooks a huge roller coaster that winds its way through the "buildings" of the New York, New York hotel. At night, I can hear the rumble of the roller coaster and the screams of people as the car zooms through twists, turns and loops. It kind of reminds me of the rapid pace of change that mobile IT is experiencing.

Here at the Consumer Electronics Show, mobility is everywhere. While most of the products are not surprisingly geared toward consumers, there are some that are specifically designed for the enterprise market, such as Panasonic's new rugged Toughpad tablets released at the show.

At the same time, many of the consumer-oriented mobile devices and applications being displayed here will find their way into the enterprise through BYOD, as consumers take their latest gadgets to work.

The technology earthquake caused by the introduction of smartphones and tablets into the consumer market has generated a BYOD tsunami that threats to overwhelm IT departments.

According to stats presented at the show, global tech device sales are forecasted to reach $1.105 trillion in 2013, with smartphone sales expected to total $334 billion, and tablet sales to total $87 billion.

These kinds of numbers should keep chief information officers and IT security managers up at night, worrying about how to control and secure those devices as the enter the workplace.

A CES panel on BYOD advised companies to develop BYOD policies and deploy technologies that can identify users, monitor devices and secure apps, such as mobile device management products.

According to a survey released by Samsung and IDC at the show, 85 percent of enterprises permit BYOD, but only 25 percent to 30 percent have developed policies and deployed technologies to manage those devices and secure data.

In addition, the widespread deployment of the 4G LTE network has led to the rapid expansion of machine-to-machine data communications, particularly data transfers that require loads of bandwidth, Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) CEO, Lowell McAdam, said during his keynote address.

Our sister publication, FierceWireless, has a CES coverage page bringing together all of the Fierce coverage of the show. Check it out.- Fred