Mobile mayday

IBM has issued a warning that unless the Middle East resolves key issues the benefits and opportunities afforded by connected and mobile computing could be wasted. The statement was made by Bashar Kilani, the head of IBM's software group in the Middle East at the recent Dubai PDA summit.

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By  Simon Duddy Published  December 11, 2003

IBM has warned against complacency if the region's corporate users are to get the most from the brave new world of connected computing. The company has identified progress in liberalisation, privatisation and the regulation of telecom markets as vital if the region is not to fall behind in this vital area.

"Research shows us that by 2005, we can expect some 70% of global enterprise companies to have deployed mobile computing solutions in their businesses as connectivity and the intelligence of networks and software increases. In fact, some 75% of European companies will provide wireless applications to their employees in the next year," said Kilani, head of IBM's software group in the Middle East, in his address to the conference. "But we face some very real challenges if we are to enjoy the increases in productivity and capabilities that these technologies bring to companies in this region."

"There is a need to simplify complex networks by using software that ties together fixed, data centre and desktop systems, with a wide range of mobile devices that can each have a defined role in a company's mobile strategy. Only then can companies in this region build effective mobile solutions that drive true advantage," said Kilani. "IBM is working with organisations across the region today to drive understanding of the issues, to share the experience of other regions in getting to grips with the issues that they need to address in order to build mobile access into their business models."

"We are seeing that trend (towards mobile businesses) now being reflected in our own markets, particularly where there is clear regulation and where companies are able to benefit from a clear and competitive wireless networking environment. There's no doubt that mobility is a clear business advantage that companies in our region can be using today."

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