Wireless has fundamentally changed the way we communicate. With the rise of a mobile workforce and a deluge of new wireless technologies, mobility has become a buzzword in today’s IT and telecom industries that is making its way into the enterprise. But have Australian businesses taken full advantage of what wireless has to offer? Not really.
IDC research shows that although wireless has become part and parcel of corporate Australia, the vast majority of organisations have yet to realise the full benefits of the technology and voice continues to make up the bulk of business wireless spending. The research firm found that more than 90 per cent of companies in this country remained without a wireless data strategy last year, despite the growing availability of high-speed wireless networks and an expanding range of data-capable mobile devices.
Lukewarm perceptions concerning the criticality of wireless technology in business have been identified as the key culprit. Australian decision makers are not alone, however. IDC also found that two-thirds of European companies cited lack of importance as the main reason for the absence of a wireless data strategy.
Among the trailblazers already adopting wireless data solutions, current usage remains centred around horizontal applications, with Internet access and corporate email topping the list. Those two applications are or will be mobilised by approximately one-fifth of Australian companies polled by IDC earlier this year, far outnumbering other types of applications.
However, the good news is the next wave of wireless applications is beginning to emerge. Australian businesses are reporting encouraging adoption trends for vertical applications. IDC has identified the difficulty in quantifying wireless benefits — of which greater workforce mobility, productivity and timely access to information are often cited — as a major barrier holding Australian businesses back from embracing the technology.
Australian organisations are looking to vendors to assist them in working out how they can take wireless to the next step and truly benefit from the technology. And that means a window of opportunity for all players along the enterprise mobility value chain.