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Mobile and Cloud App Use on the Rise: How the Trend Impacts Network Bandwidth

Users in nearly every industry are using more mobile devices than ever before, each leveraging many cloud-based applications. From schools to healthcare institutions and corporate offices, individuals are making better use of their handheld hardware and Web-based programs.

For instance, the BYOD trend in the enterprise sector relies almost exclusively on employees’ utilization of their own mobile devices for work purposes. Additionally, healthcare providers are leveraging smartphones and tablets more often these days to provide a higher level of patient care, and students are using mobile workstations during class.

However, the increased use of smartphones, tablets and laptops alongside rising levels of cloud app utilization is having quite the effect on network bandwidth. In order for these Web-based programs to perform as they should on mobile endpoints, administrators and decision-maker must ensure that their network has adequate resources.

Mobile and cloud use: By the numbers

A recent Vouchercloud infographic shows that mobile consumers are using more cloud applications, and this trend will continue into the near future, according to CloudTweaks. By 2018, researchers predict that there will be a total of 8.2 billion active mobile devices, each generating 2.7 gigabytes of traffic per month. This represents a five-fold increase over the traffic comprised by mobile endpoints last year.

Furthermore, the use of cloud applications will continue to rise. The infographic shows that last year, 82 percent of total mobile traffic came from the utilization of online applications; this figure is predicted to steadily increase to 90 percent in the next four years.

The result of boosted use

It’s easy to understand why users across different industrial sectors would boost their utilization of both mobile devices and cloud applications. Such practices come with myriad benefits, including increased levels of collaboration and information access from nearly anywhere. Organizations also take advantage of a reduced amount of on-premise hardware, as well as less maintenance and energy costs. As most of users’ activities take place within employer’s offices and institutions, however, it is these networks that feel the effects.

Virtela recently noted that this shift toward cloud and mobile processes is putting additional stress on WAN connections, especially within business settings.

“This creates problems for traditional enterprise WAN architectures originally designed to handle most internal, predictable traffic,” Virtela stated. “For many companies, the demand for Internet bandwidth is exceeding available network capacity, especially for high-bandwidth software-as-a-service applications.”

At the same time, however, these processes are critical within the vast majority of industries, and users can’t afford to deal with poor cloud performance. There are several ways to address this issue, though, and ensure that there is enough network bandwidth to support mobile activities and the use of cloud applications.

One beneficial option is to increase bandwidth to guarantee that enough resources are available. Many organizations will look to limit their use of cloud apps to reduce the chance of network bottlenecks. However, increasing network bandwidth is a better solution to allow users the freedom to leverage their mobile devices and the Web-based applications they need.

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