Data is becoming increasingly unanchored and unstructured. Data consolidation and definition assume nightmarish proportions, as data is proliferated across desktops, laptops, smart phones and a host of other hand held devices. Yet, this data must be consolidated, defined and made available to those who need the information for decision making purposes. In the past, data consolidation either never happened or happened so infrequently, that decision makers were forced to guess at trends and draw conclusions on the basis of available data. The picture can be different today.

Cloud computing can change the face of computing within your enterprise. You can centralize your data banks and connect your mobile devices to these banks for upload/download of information on the fly. You can define enterprise policies for mobile workers and automate the process of backing up data from hundreds of systems over the Internet, so that all data is collected, indexed, categorized and made available even as it is generated or within a short period of time.

Loss of mobile devices need not prove catastrophic. You can prevent data breaches by making all your mobile devices “thin” clients and storing all information in your online repository. The loss of your mobile device will remain just that – a loss of a piece of hardware. Encryption of the hard drive will provide an additional layer of security to your data as finders; thieves or unauthorized persons who get hold of your mobile device will be unable to access the information available on the hard disk or in the online repository without authentication and authorization.

Mobile computing has created a paradigm shift in the way businesses are done today. Yet, there are those who question whether mobile computing is really “ready” for the purpose of anchoring mission-critical data. It is true that there are many unexploited, un-chartered territories out there. Risks will have to be carefully considered and potential damages evaluated before you decide to take the leap. Mobile computing architectures must mature and applications will have to be tested before it is proven that it is safe to expand your applications platform and go mobile. There are glitches and confidentiality expectations of application developers and architects regarding compliance with statutory privacy requirements. Adopter tolerance is another area of concern.

Clearly, there are a large number of lessons to be learnt about anchoring data being generated on mobile devices.