CEO's Corner

5 Predictions for Mobile World Congress 2017

Anurag Lal Anurag Lal, President and CEO of Infinite Convergence.

The Mobile World Congress is rapidly approaching and this year, one of the big stories is secure messaging — specifically, how the latest mobile trends will impact the sharing of data and information across the enterprise.

Trends to Watch at MWC 2017

Secure messaging is taking center stage in conversations about mobile technology. Most enterprises recognize the value of messaging, but company leaders are understandably concerned about the security, compliance and control risks associated with BYOD and the use of mobile devices in general.

With that in mind, here’s my take on how some of the trends you’ll hear about at MWC 2017 will impact enterprise messaging:

#1 We’re another year closer to 5G.

You don’t need a crystal ball to know that the topic of 5G is going to come up at MWC 2017. Although we’re not there yet, we’re another year closer to the lightning fast speeds that 5G promises. As I’ve said before, when 5G becomes the standard for mobile connectivity, it will transform the way we live our lives, allowing us to tap into the full potential of mobile-connected devices.

Messaging will also be impacted by 5G, potentially through the integration of applications into a unified platform that enables users to live a fully “connected lifestyle.” For enterprises, the migration to a secure, cloud-based messaging platform is a good first step in that direction, but it will be interesting to see how it evolves after 5G finally arrives.

#2 The Internet of Things (IoT) requires more reliable channels of communication.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a major development in the evolution of technology, a game-changer that promises to transform our personal and work lives. But as more of our Things go online, how will we communicate with our Things? Without reliable communication infrastructure, our Things lose value and the transformation of our everyday lives will become a daily nightmare.

Messaging apps provide a ready-made solution to the communications challenges associated with the IoT. In the not-so-distant future, we will use messaging to communicate with our Things from smartphones and other devices. Going forward, secure messaging will be mandatory for enterprises, especially as more Things go online in the workplace.

#3 Enterprise adoption of secure, cloud-based messaging is accelerating.

The pervasiveness of mobile messaging and cloud technology are accelerating the adoption of securing, cloud-based messaging platforms in the enterprise. The recent news that Avaya filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on January 19 demonstrates how widespread the cloud has become in enterprise communications. Once the industry standard in on-premises communications, Avaya failed to adapt to the reality that voice and video are no longer separated from the data network and that cloud-based messaging is now the preferred method of communication in the enterprise.

But cloud technology isn’t the only thing that’s driving adoption of secure enterprise messaging. Security continues to be a major concern for in the C-suite. Following the recent discovery of a vulnerable backdoor in WhatsApp, Deutsche Bank announced that — despite the loss of operational efficiencies — it is banning text messaging and the use of consumer-grade communications apps on company phones.

Given the renewed emphasis on security, it’s becoming more important than ever for enterprises to secure the entire communications ecosystem — not just internal channels of communication. At Infinite Convergence, we’ve developed a guest user feature that enables external users outside to conveniently participate in conversations using the organization’s approved enterprise messaging platform. Expect to hear more discussions about these types of messaging technologies at MWC 2017 and throughout the year.

#4 The connectivity demands of VR are increasing.

Virtual reality (VR) is poised to enter the mainstream with Google, Samsung and other providers offering affordable hardware options to the masses. As gaming technology, VR has the potential to devour bandwidth and create serious connectivity issues for users or organizations. But from an enterprise perspective, the bigger issue is connectivity and the use of VR as a tool for improved productivity and professional service outcomes.

In industries like healthcare, physicians are using VR to gain a clearer view of the human body. In other industries, VR is playing a role in training and similar activities that can benefit from immersive user views. Although the use of VR in the enterprise creates a whole new world of opportunities, it also underscores the importance of advanced networks capable of supporting the streaming demands of professional VR experiences.

#5 Devices are getting cheaper, better and more portable.

Several manufacturers are rumored to be releasing new smartphones, many of which feature bigger screens, sleeker designs and even more user-friendly features. But some of the most interesting rumors are swirling around a new, low-cost Android phone by Nokia and the announcement of new smartwatches from Sony, Huawei and LG.

Whether these rumors materialize into actual product launches isn’t important. What really matters is the trend toward cheaper, better and more portable mobile devices — devices that will inevitably migrate to the workplace and make messaging an even bigger part of employees’ daily routines.

The takeaway for CIOs is clear: time’s up. The current crop of mobile devices provides further evidence that enterprises that haven’t implemented a secure enterprise messaging platform yet are behind the curve and need to quickly regain control of the organization’s messaging activities to prevent a security or compliance disaster.

Continue the Conversation in Barcelona

Mobile World Congress offers the perfect opportunity to get up-to-speed on everything mobile. But don’t leave this year’s conference without learning more about what lies ahead for enterprise messaging.

Infinite Convergence and our secure enterprise messaging service, NetSfere, will be represented at MWC 2017 and — as you can probably guess — we’re always happy to talk about the latest developments in enterprise messaging.

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