Mobility Trends Shift the Data Game

 

By Tony Simonsen, managing director, Equinix Australia

 

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Mobility is turning Australian data consumption into a spectator sport. As a sport loving nation, all bets are on concerning the transformative effect this unabated appetite for mobility and all its data rich platforms will have on our networks, business and society.

The Australian business sector, in particular has embraced tablet usage with gusto, with forecasts suggesting that tablet consumption in the enterprise will double in the next 12 months. A recent survey from market research group Roy Morgan found that the biggest growing sectors for tablet usage were to be found in the sectors of information media, mining and education.

The amount of information transferred over mobile networks globally, is now poised to double every year for the next six years, driven largely by users accessing more video content from platforms like tablets. Technology analysts Telsyte estimate that there are 5 million tablet users in Australia with growth projections tipped at 50% by year end.

The take-up of 4G and rollout of Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) is also set to fuel the utilisation of mobile devices. Significantly, these new super-fast networks will encourage companies to look at how they can foster efficient working practices through the uptake of mobile devices.

Paving the way to a revolution at the office is the unstoppable rise of cloud hosted applications and the phenomenon of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device).

The rise of the mobile workforce is now an obvious benefit to many companies and their employees, as it can often lead to cost savings and a better work-life balance. As companies aid remote and mobile working they must consider which devices will best aid their workforce.

Juniper Research has forecast that the number of enterprise users implementing BYOD practices will more than double in the next two years from 150 million to 350 million globally.

Increasingly, companies will pick a device and give their employee the flexibility to tailor apps and programs, rather than choose their own handset. Again Australian enterprises and government sectors are showing a progressive spirit here.

Steve Wozniak recently wrote in Forbes that to give people the ability to work from anywhere, companies would move from ‘lite’ collaboration apps towards “all-in-one tools that fit nicely into their existing structures.”

The data center field of dreams

Another prediction Wozniak bets on is that data centers will be viewed as the star team in the data transformation game. Wozniak expects to see the “data center really stepping up to share the limelight alongside the cloud and consumerisation of IT trends that have been so hot these past few years.”

As companies are increasingly moving towards a cloud model, either as a hybrid model or private cloud, there is also a knock-on effect for data centers in terms of content that needs to be stored.

In Australia the rise of mobility is already creating greater opportunity for new businesses. The entrepreneurial spirit is as bold as Australia’s sporting competitiveness and mobility is helping craft the next wave of entrepreneurial ideas. If you can think of an app and possess the basic developer skills then it is likely it can be created with minimal investment.

Depending on what these apps and businesses offer, and whether the app created is a cloud or device based one, entrepreneurs will need to ensure they have the ability to cope with volumes of traffic.

It is clear that we will see more start-ups begin their life in a data center where they can easily grow and also take advantage of interconnection opportunities down the track.

The shifting network

Meanwhile, the availability of apps such as Skype on our mobile phones means that less of our mobile phone calls are going through traditional telco channels. As more consumers favour VoiP connections and stoke data consumption rates, so to the need for services such as Skype to hold up high call quality standards and data transfer speeds. Trusted data center management across the network is becoming paramount to service delivery.

The data center market in Australia is being bolstered by the growth in mobility. In turn, data center providers are become intimately attuned to the needs of the new breed of data center users that are being fostered by the mobile ecosystem. Speed and a friendly interface is the key for keeping customers and other key audiences engaged.

The extra content being created means extra storage is needed, particularly with the rise of video content. Increased data consumption on the go will also increase as mobile devices become more prevalent and companies need to ensure they are set up and flexible enough as demand increases.

Australia has always been a country for grabbing hold of the next opportunity. We are early adopters, great inventors and an incubator for many entrepreneurial ideas that have turned into some of the world’s most successful companies. Mobility in Australia has opened up the next wave of opportunity and wedded to the right infrastructure we are center field in the global data revolution.

Interested in the topic? Please read a related article on Nett Magazine.