There's an important theme running through the features in this month's Mobile Enterprise: the role that mobility plays in the lives of young people. Whether it's the freedom to roam untethered across a college campus, the ability to access media on your mobile device, or - on a more somber note - the ability to receive emergency alerts via text message, mobility is seen as almost a basic human right among young adults.
Why should this matter to your mobile enterprise? Because, ultimately, these users are on their way into your workforce.
The implications for the mobile enterprise are far-reaching. Most companies are already grappling with the security challenges of their mobile workforce, and these issues are only going to gain importance as new workers come aboard.
Managing devices - and what they're used for - is going to become even more challenging. Just as delivery of media over the Internet has turned lunchtime into TV time for many deskbound workers, mobile devices will increasingly be used for entertainment and media delivery in the years ahead.
In the second part of our Outlook 2008, Mobile Enterprise Editorial Advisory Board member Godfrey John aptly sums up the issue: "Unless there is strict policy forbidding the use of such devices...it is almost impossible to keep them out of the workplace. If you can't beat them, join them. Strategies must be devised to address myriad security, recoverability and privacy concerns."
Managing expectations is equally important. As our vertical focus on education reveals, college campuses are ahead of corporate enterprises in deploying WLANs. What happens when those graduates hit your workforce and discover that the infrastructure they've taken for granted isn't available to them in your enterprise?
The upside of all this, of course, is the fact that new workers are going to embrace the mobility solutions you're already deploying, and will bring innovative ideas with them that will foster new processes and ultimately improve productivity.