The Cloud: The Platform in Your Pocket
One of the interesting things about emerging technology discussions (new platforms) is that the physical security industry has a habit of being late. Caulk it up to a culture of conservatism. A case in point is the cell phone. One aspect of the digital revolution, or “evolution” if you will, is how quickly it changes our behavior on a personal level, yet simultaneously many people believe that same technology adoption into the business cycle will take much longer. Why?
True, years ago technologies needed to incubate, typically within the information technology (IT) departments of large corporations, prior to carefully phased rollouts and managed deployments. Of course at the time many of these products were vendor specific and proprietary solutions, both hardware and software.
As technologies (microprocessors, memory, storage, etc.) standardized and the cost curves quickly dropped, we saw a movement toward consumerization. Basically, users started driving solutions and retail channels (Best Buy, Apple, Fyrs, AT&T, etc.) stepped in to answer public demand for new “converged” technologies in ever-smaller footprints.
Perhaps nowhere in the technology landscape is this consumer focus and industry deployment blind spot more pronounced than the mobile device market, or for lack of a better description, the cell phone. After all, is there any doubt that the common cell phone has morphed into an intelligent end point computing device?
At the same time, as employees utilize more intelligent devices not issued by the company (iPhones, Droids, BlackBerry’s, iPads, etc.) to access the corporate e-mail and databases of proprietary information, has anyone asked “What about security?” If you think Apple and Google are checking their iStor applications or music downloads for malware, think again. By the way, these mobile operating systems are not as secure as laptops in the first place. We are introducing an entirely new threat, at a massive scale, to the enterprise with little or no thought to what the ramifications are! This is beyond problematic given the global cyber crime wave we are experiencing today.
According to industry research firm, The Gartner Group: Worldwide mobile voice and data revenue will exceed $1 trillion a year by 2014. Granted this number includes everything from geolocation-based advertising to gaming, but I mention it from the standpoint of the pace of user acceptance.
I have seen many research reports stating that smart phone deployments worldwide will reach between two billion and four billion by 2014.
Again, think about the low-end projection. How do you possibly secure one billion intelligent endpoints, many connected to corporate networks? Enter another emerging platform, “The Cloud.” This model represents an alternative that designs security at the front end of the process to mange access between an intelligent end point and proprietary corporate data. How else would you do it? Depend on the end user to secure their device? There is not enough mobile memory or battery life for the constant security downloads.
What does this mean for the security integrator? I cannot imagine many security applications today that are not migrating to more powerful, intelligent mobile devices: video surveillance, biometrics, access control, etc. Just as laptop sales surpassed desktops, mobile handheld devices are accelerating past laptops. Welcome to a huge security opportunity! The intelligent integrator needs to provide software to manage these mobile platforms and secure their security applications. Cloud computing and intelligent mobile devices are your future. Google the 2011 Gartner Group report “Magic Quadrant for Mobile Device Management Software” and learn about this opportunity. This intelligent mobile market is exploding and smart security integrators will get rich managing the platforms in our pockets!
The intelligent integrator needs to provide software to manage these mobile platforms and secure their security applications. Cloud computing and intelligent mobile devices are your future.