In recent blog posts, we’ve talked about advancements in technology that are creating the “Internet of Things”—a paradigm where humans talk to machines—and machines talk to machines. Where each device is uniquely identifiable; where the interaction between people and machines creates unprecedented amounts of data, helping businesses run faster and smarter, people to live more comfortable lives, and human knowledge to grow.
A recent article in StateTech magazine (“Governments Roll Out WiFi in Libraries, Buses and Parks”) describes how King County, Washington is using Cradlepoint devices to deliver WiFi to passengers on 117 of its 60-foot RapidRide line buses—and using our Enterprise Cloud Management solution to remotely manage the devices.
As businesses enter the Internet of All Things, the recurrent concern of security is not far behind. Whether it’s POS devices, digital signage, customer WiFi, kiosks, video surveillance—or even HVAC control, every new connected device brings with it the risk of an information breach.
In late November, Cradlepoint product manager David Rush blogged (“Is LTE the Winner? Follow the Money” and “Whatever Happened to WiMax?”) about how LTE appears to have won the race for the “wireless technology of the future.” LTE and two other changes in technology have combined to make wireless connectivity the intelligent choice for secure, reliable network access at distributed enterprise locations. The two other factors are:
The movement to the cloud of business-critical applications and services. The rise of mobility as a key to gaining competitive advantage.
As I mentioned in my last post on 4G LTE, businesses have been adopting 4G LTE as an enterprise-grade network. One issue that should still be considered prior to rollout is coverage. Enterprises with distributed networks want to know if network access is available where their branch offices are located. It’s great that the carrier companies are aggressively building out their 4G LTE networks. But at the end of the day, is there coverage where the company needs it?
There was a time a couple of years ago when the winner of the race to build the best 4G network was still up for grabs. One strong contender at the time was WiMAX. Back in 2006, Sprint and Clearwire did a joint WiMAX venture, investing a significant amount of money trying to build out their WiMAX network.
Anyone who is still unsure whether LTE is the technology of the future just has to look at the real and potential mergers and acquisitions in the carrier industry to have their doubts put to rest.
As I said in my previous post, CIOs from leading retailers agreed at a recent conference that the new trend is to move business applications to the cloud. This move has put new strains on local retail locations as they scramble to acquire necessary increases in bandwidth and resiliency. But as the cloud evolves, so do the nation’s wireless 3G and 4G LTE networks. Even though the advantages of wireless access now outweigh wired connectivity, many companies are still reluctant to make the switch.
A couple weeks ago in the Cradlepoint blog, Lindsay mentioned the increasing IT spend by CMOs. One way we’re seeing this play out is in an increased emphasis on creating the “integrated shopping experience.” Companies like Macy’s, the Gap, and Banana Republic are at the forefront of this trend to shrink the difference between in-store and online shopping.
I recently attended a conference for CIOs of leading national retailers, and if attendees agreed on one thing, it was the increasing use of cloud-based applications. Whether it be for point-of-sale, inventory, back office, or customer-facing applications, retail operations are turning away from the use of local applications hosted on local servers.