Aided by the evolution of phone networks, WLANs (wireless LANs), personal-area networks and handheld security, mobile computing grew in significance within enterprises this year and will continue to do so through next year.
Mobile usage will diversify and increase as users migrate from dial-up to broadband and increase their use of WLAN hot spots and ad hoc wired connections. We expect—and recommend—that enterprises look toward user authentication and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) VPN technologies to secure remote mobile access.
As cell phones and PDAs become ubiquitous and gain the ability to handle voice, e-mail, calendaring and IM, workers will use these mobile devices to connect to an increasing number of enterprise-class applications, including sales force automation and customer relationship management.
Well continue to see enterprises investing in laptops and tablet computers with Wi-Fi capabilities. And as wireless connectivity and mobile hardware continue to mature, so will software. The power of handwriting recognition coupled with speech recognition will further mobilize road warriors. As such, applications such as Microsofts OneNote, as well as complementary pen input applications, are not to be overlooked.
When it comes to next-generation mobile technologies, expect to hear plenty of hype surrounding technologies such as 802.165.4 (low-power, low-data-rate wireless), UWB (ultra-wide-band) and mesh networking systems during the next year.
Check back on eWEEK.com tomorrow for our predictions on collaboration and Web services, followed by networking on Sunday.