The increasing use of smartphones as the sole business phone will drive revenues from mobile enterprise users to USD $284 billion by 2014.

Yet while the "unwired enterprise" is becoming a reality, hurdles remain in persuading significant numbers of businesses to "go mobile", according to Juniper Research.

The report found that many enterprises are seeing the benefits of cost reductions and increased profitability won via efficiency and productivity improvements.

It forecasts that greater use of mobile broadband will increase enterprise mobile devices by 56 per cent between 2008 And 2014.

Companies such as GoHello – which offers an ALLmobile, virtual phone system – and OnRelay – with its Unified MBX solution that delivers complete IP PBX functionality to the mobile phone – are already offering viable alternatives to the deskphone.

But the report also highlights specific barriers to adoption, including:

  • limited functionality resulting from the small size and form of devices
  • problems in adapting applications for mobiles while not compromising on usability
  • the thorny issue of ensuring device security

The report’s author, Andrew Kitson, believes that device management and security are critical issues that businesses need to address when going mobile.

He said that enterprises need to be assured of total control over the devices their employees use.

"To do this, they need to limit the types and numbers of devices connecting to their networks, deactivate or restrict devices that are lost or stolen, minimising functionality and access, and employing user authentication, content encryption, and other security solutions as appropriate," he said.

"There are upfront cost issues involved, but the greater cost lies in compromising on security features."

Other findings include:

  • Enterprise-grade applications and services require advanced devices and rely on high-capacity networks: the proportion of devices connected to 3.5G/3.9G networks will rise from 13 per cent in 2008 to almost 80 per cent in 2014
  • Usage of wireless dongles is losing ground to usage of plug-in datacards and devices with embedded wireless modems and will peak in 2010/2011

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