One of the biggest advancements of the past few years has been the development and expansion of 4G LTE networks. As this connectivity becomes more powerful and commonplace, the number of tasks that can be done with a smartphone or cellular-enabled tablet rises to unforeseen levels, ensuing near constant connectivity and pushing out-of-band access to new heights.
However, despite the myriad benefits 4G LTE offers, many businesses have yet to fully adopt the technology, incorrectly thinking cellular Internet connectivity is just for watching cat videos or streaming music while on the go. This is an incorrect mindset to have, as 4G can revolutionize how business is run.
“4G networks will extend high-speed connectivity through the air to allow businesses of every size to use the marketing, organisational and efficiency opportunities that will make business truly democratic,” said futurologist Ray Hammond, according to The Guardian. “A small restaurant on the street corner now has the same opportunities to promote itself and attract customers in the super-fast world of 4G as the biggest chain of fast food outlets. The same is true for almost all other types of business.”
Companies looking to learn about 4G LTE and what cellular connectivity can do for their bottom line should consider these four key benefits of this technology:
1) For remote site management
As businesses expand across the country or around the world, keeping tabs on networked endpoints becomes exponentially more difficult. With IT network hubs now found in branch offices and remote sites in addition to dedicated server rooms and company headquarters, the amount of hardware that must be overseen rises as well, further compounding the difficulties a modern remote site manager faces.
To address these concerns, IT teams can leverage a remote monitoring system like the IM7200 Infrastructure Manager from Opengear. With such a tool in place, network oversight professionals can always keep tabs on mission-critical endpoints. Equipped with 4G LTE connectivity for out-of-band, the IM7200 facilitates proactive monitoring even if fiber or Ethernet connections are compromised.
“Data centers, colocation facilities, network exchange points – managing these highly complex, distributed, multi-vendor environments can often leave network administrators at wits’ end, and that’s even before the network connection goes down,” said Opengear CEO Rick Stevenson. “With the IM7200, we have the answer for high performance, secure remote management from anywhere in the world: a single appliance with integrated fiber and 4G LTE connectivity that can manage all rack infrastructure from a single pane of glass.”
2) For e-commerce
People are increasingly using their smartphones and tablets for far more than casual gaming and email browsing, as the number of individuals turning to mobile devices to purchase items online is reaching new heights. This is big news for companies operating e-commerce stores, as 4G LTE pushes their offerings to a wider audience. Plus, 4G networks ensure that consumers can always reach online shopping portals and that e-commerce store owners can more effectively maintain their business at all times.
3) To make employees more productive
Thanks to 4G, people can work from anywhere. As LTE connectivity becomes more widely available, employees can use mobile devices to check email on the train ride into the office, to update spreadsheets at home or even contact clients while on vacation.
“[W]hat’s exciting for me as a young entrepreneur is that faster mobile internet makes it even more possible for me to live my life how I want to,” Fraser Doherty, founder of the U.K.-based fruit jam making company SuperJam, told The Guardian. “If I can work from anywhere, I want to work from everywhere, completely blurring the lines between travel, fun and work.”
The productivity effects of 4G are especially pronounced with IT management teams. In the past, network oversight professionals would often have to fly to remote locations to troubleshoot issues and apply patches to endpoints. With LTE and remote monitoring software, however, these tasks can be done from anywhere, ensuring that IT teams do not waste precious time traveling.
4) For business continuity
Service providers like AT&T and Verizon are continually expanding the speed of their 4G networks and where connectivity can be gained, and these developments can be crucial to business continuity efforts. As the Internet becomes more central to the operations of just about every company today, any disruptions in connectivity could lead to major losses both in regard to customer satisfaction and the bottom line. Since even second of unplanned downtime can be costly, businesses can pair their legacy Internet connections with 4G. That way, employees always have access to their online resources.
In addition, as tools like the IM7200 and the ACM550 Management Gateway from Opengear become more popular and ubiquitous, IT teams are further able to use 4G as a means to keep mission-critical endpoints in working order. With more companies looking to these kinds of solutions, 4G’s role in business continuity efforts is elevated to new heights.