Survey of IT Execs Identifies Enterprise Mobility Challenges and Trends

 

Organizations talk about the value of mobility in specific terms—productivity, reduced costs, better customer service, agility in the marketplace—but to what extent are they taking steps to realize these benefits? How many even have a strategy for deploying mobility across the enterprise, much less for implementing specific mobility solutions?

A recent survey explores the status of enterprise mobility in terms of its importance to organizations, what kinds of strategies they’re developing to make mobility work, and what their concerns are about it. In other words, what are organizations actually doing about enterprise mobility right now, and what will they be doing in the next several months?

The survey of more than 200 IT executives across a range of mid- to large-size businesses offers some interesting results. Not surprising is the large number of organizations that identify enterprise mobility as an increasingly important part of their business that will play a significant part in their upcoming IT plans. Also not surprising is that many companies do not yet have a well-defined strategy for putting their ideas and plans into practice. What is surprising is just how wide the gap is: 82 percent say mobility is very important, but only 8 percent have a well-defined strategy and have executed on it.

The obstacles that prevent reluctant organizations from jumping deeper into the mobility pool are exactly what mobility solutions and solution providers are intended to address: security measures, cost management, a lack of expertise within the company, and the development and management of mobile apps. Of these, security is the biggest concern, and it overlaps with concerns about mobile apps. Organizations want to understand how apps fit into a picture that keeps corporate data separated and protected from user data. Many IT departments are aware that mobile device management (MDM) solutions can play a big part in providing this security, but very few (less than 50 percent) actually have a solution in place. (And again, even when they have one, it’s rarely part of a larger, overall strategy.)

Many organizations don’t realize how flexible and wide-ranging their mobility options are. For example, beyond MDM alone, they may not realize they can mix and match solutions for MDM, mobile application management (MAM), mobile content management (MCM), intelligence, analysis, monitoring, and so on. If they did realize this, the companies may feel more confident about going forward with deployment. (As a side note, the survey results also reinforce the importance of having a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy to promote security and efficiency—an important reminder for the few organizations that don’t already have a one.)

Finally, the survey shows that many of the IT executives do recognize that their companies will need outside help to address their security and other concerns. Half are considering a mobility-as-a-service model, bundling services, and using outside providers for most or all of these services. Also, most of the organizations that have strategies at least partially underway are emphasizing components that make good sense as part of any strategy. That means outside providers will not have the burden of trying to sell a solution that the organizations aren’t familiar or comfortable with. Still, developing a strategy has to come before deploying any solutions. The key will be for the providers to get involved early and educate organizations on the range of services and solutions that they need and how they fit into the big picture.

To learn more about the challenges of enterprise mobility and how IT leaders plan to address them, download the full research report.

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