October 2nd 2013
The Canadian business world is undoubtedly embracing the worldwide mobile movement, as more decision-makers in Canada are finding the need to support smartphones, tablets and laptops to complete mission-critical processes. As is the case with most IT endeavors, however, the conversation of data protection always comes up, forcing decision-makers to weigh their options and pursue the most cost-effective strategy that prioritizes security.
While there are numerous procurement and deployment aspects that must be considered when embracing mobility in the workplace, Canadian executives must address the "Wi-Fi only" or "4G compatible" dilemma. Consumers throughout Canada and the rest of the world often choose to purchase endpoints that can only connect to the Internet through Wi-Fi because people use laptops and tablets at home or somewhere with a reliable wireless connection. Unfortunately, organizations can't necessarily take the same approach, especially as remote working picks up speed and encourages individuals to work from the road or other location where Wi-Fi just isn't an option.
Why look beyond Wi-Fi?
Embracing a mobile strategy using endpoints that have a data plan can be highly beneficial to organizations for a number of reasons, including those from a business continuity standpoint. In general, a company that supports laptops with 4G capabilities will be able to keep functioning even when an Internet network goes down unexpectedly. This means that employee activities will not necessarily be thwarted by extensive traffic volumes or electrical outages.
Additionally, laptops with a data plan will enable individuals to maintain consistent coverage across multiple regions. In other words, workers will not be slowed down when moving between departments or buildings that have different Wi-Fi logins and passwords. This will improve operational reliability and efficiency for mobile-enabled employees.
Finally, the highly competitive nature of the Canadian business world means that decision-makers must continue to adapt in an effort to keep pace with the rest of their respective industries. Unlike supporting a Wi-Fi only mobile workforce, wireless data plans allow executives to essentially "future proof" their employees by developing a flexible strategy that does not necessarily rely on fixed locations.
Eliminating compromised security
While adopting 4G-enabled endpoints in the workplace offers numerous advantages to long-term efficiency, ditching Wi-Fi only laptops will also introduce new information protection benefits. The truth of the matter is that employees who work on Wi-Fi connections do not always follow best practices, which can introduce new vulnerabilities in the network caused by eavesdropping and other cyberciminal activities.
Although companies can develop guidelines and policies to improve Wi-Fi security, enforcing these rules is sometimes difficult. Conversely, Rogers and other wireless service providers often automatically encrypt information traffic between devices, reducing the chances that unauthorized individuals can view and steal confidential resources.
As the mobile landscape evolves, Canadian businesses should at least consider adopting mobile strategies that support 4G capable devices, as doing so will provide numerous performance, cost and security benefits that will help organizations stay competitive in the long run.
Articles from Larry Keating's (CEO, NPC) guest blog on the Huffington Post Business pages