Mobile apps proliferate

What does it mean for your business?
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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

DELRAY BEACH, Fla.—Speaking about the future of mobile apps at the TechSec conference on Feb. 7, Fredrik Nilsson GM of Axis Communications recalled a keynote address that he delivered at the first TechSec conference in 2005.

“I predicted that mobility would change the industry,” he said.

At that conference he was talking about the growth of IP-based security. The growth in the adoption of IP video has been driven, he said, by improved camera technology along with “expert partners” making better servers, storage, wireless networks, networks, cabling and software.

Going forward, the growth in mobility will depend, to a large degree, on the ability of wireless networks and the ability of bandwidth providers and infrastructure providers to ensure that there’s enough secure bandwidth to handle the growing demand, Nilsson said.

Of the apps themselves, providers will need to decide on whether to use mobile web or native apps, and there are advantages to both, said David Marra, CEO of 25K Digital.

Nilsson and Marra, along with Jay Hauhn, CTO of ADT; and Karl Weintz, VP business development, mobile access, HID Global—participated in an educational session entitled “Mobile apps: Where will they go next?” moderated by Steve Van Till, CEO of Brivo.  

Hauhn said that ADT is using mobility in two different ways. It's using it as an application for service technicians who are being upgraded from a device, similar to what a UPS driver uses to track deliveries, to an iPad. “It can be used for mobile dispatch, inventory management, electronic payment for T& M jobs and customer signature,” he said.

ADT is also using mobile devices for customers, an application which “is built around managed services … [which is] something Brivo taught this industry how to use, and think about using the cloud to build RMR,” Hauhn said.

The future capability of mobile apps was part of the reason behind ADT’s strategy when it purchased PSIM maker Proximex two years ago, he added.

“While Proximex is core to our integrated systems strategy, it also is a key enabler for cloud-based managed services,” Hauhn said. “Proximex will facilitate mobile access to the data from systems it connects with. Such mobility is key to a quality user-experience.

Van Till asked the panel about the trend toward BYOD “bringing your own device.” Is it a good idea for a security guard to use his own mobile device for work while on the job?  Nilsson suggested it could increase efficiency. The panel agreed that BYOD brought up issues of security, however.

Weintz said it’s incumbent upon an employer who allows workers to BYOD to have “rigid boundaries” about usage and the retrieval of information from mobile devices when a person leaves a job.