4 reasons why you need a mobile-first network

We’re all becoming increasingly reliant on digital devices and cloud services in our day-to-day lives, and the workplace is no different. Today, we expect to be able to work, communicate and shop from virtually anywhere with instant access to applications, data and tools.

This mobile-first environment is proving particularly valuable for small to medium sized enterprises who want to adopt a cost-effective approach to providing their users with seamless digital experiences.

It’s not just employers who derive value from mobile working. According to research from Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, employees in fully-enabled mobile-first digital workplaces are:

  • 51% more likely to have strong job satisfaction,
  • 43% more likely to be positive about their work-life balance, and
  • 73% more likely to report a positive impact to their productivity1.

However, legacy networks weren’t designed for a mobile-first world, and most SMBs are facing a challenging network environment with the investments they currently have.

Creating a mobile-first network

A mobile-first network is about more than just switches and hardware – it’s about an organisation-wide approach to deliver a non-stop networking experience for environments where mobile, IoT or cloud-based apps are mission critical. A mobile-first network allows users to receive the same policy and permissions – regardless of how they connect.

Underpinning this capability is a next-generation network platform. Is your network ready to support rapidly growing device density and data volumes? Do you have visibility of infrastructure use?Is your IT team taking advantage of the significant leaps forward in centralised management tools and machine intelligence?

Aruba’s mobile-first network architecture delivers simple to use networking that saves IT valuable time and business capital without compromising enterprise-class features needed for business growth. Removing the need to provision large amounts of network infrastructure to bring these users and devices online. Without the need to over-invest in capital, your business has greater agility within your marketplace – the cornerstone of competitive advantage.

Here are the four key benefits we see from adopting a mobile-first network:

1. High performance and reliability

IT teams today are tasked with maintaining highly dynamic, unpredictable environments. However, traditional networking tools are designed to care for the infrastructure and not the end user experience. Your employees demand round-the-clock connectivity in any location, on any device. Your customers expect a seamless and consistent user experience.

A mobile-first network delivers this connectivity with modern tools that proactively stay ahead of network performance issues and intelligently recommend configuration changes before users are adversely impacted.

Aruba NetInsight provides analytics-based network assurance. It uses machine learning to continuously monitor the network, user connectivity and performance and delivers insights in the event of anomalies, and then recommends how best to optimise the network for today’s mobile-first employees and IoT devices.

2. Security and control

The first priority of network security used to be to secure the perimeter, but a mobile-first world means our boundaries are fluid and difficult to define. So, how do we assign trust in a perimeter-less world?

In a mobile-first network, these new security challenges are tackled by creating a contextual understanding of an organisation’s users and the apps, devices and data that is relevant to their role. Identity has become the new perimeter.

Aruba 360 Secure Fabric extends beyond traditional network security to provide these capabilities. When a user or device connects to the wired network, the policy is downloaded to the network access layer and moves with the user. For wireless devices, users are assigned a role when they authenticate, and the policy is downloaded to their wireless controller.

3. Network and application visibility

In our personal lives, we’re accustomed to instantly downloading an application every time we have a need for it. In the workplace this approach can get messy fast, especially for growing companies with shifting needs. In a traditional network environment, IT teams have very little visibility into which applications and devices are coming into their environment, which leads to the rapid proliferation of shadow IT and underperforming infrastructure.

Through the management platform, Aruba Airwave, administrators can gain a more holistic view of their entire network environment to understand where their greatest demand for bandwidth and compute lies. They can then target resources to facilitate that connectivity, or investigate users and applications that may need to be restricted from the network.

4. Scalability and flexibility

If you’re struggling to manage the explosion of personal devices in the workplace then strap yourself in for the Internet of Things (IoT). In the near future, expect to facilitate intelligent buildings with climate control, smart lighting, parking and access control, as well as appliances such as smart boards, telepresence, and even employees wearable devices.

Many of the new technologies, such as – IoT, AI, hybrid cloud, serverless, edge computing and containers – all require a flexible, secure and robust network. Attempting to grow your business and connect an army of new devices and services is simply not possible on a static traditional network.

Trying to power a next-generation digital workforce? A mobile-first network is essential. Reach out today to discuss a new foundation for your business with Aruba’s world-leading mobile-first network architecture.

1. Aruba (2018). The Right Technologies Unlock the Potential of the Digital Workplace. [Online] Available at:



Tags: Mobility, Network Security, Enterprise Networks, Aruba, Digital Transformation, Cloud Security, HPE Aruba, Aruba AirWave, Cloud Management, Digital Network Architecture, Network Management, Network Infrastructure, Network Modernisation


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