Proliferation of Mobile Devices in the Enterprise Driving Need for Policies

The "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD) phenomenon continues to grow inside organizations, but company-supplied, "corporate liable" mobile and desktop devices still predominate. The growing number and anticipated growth of smartphones and tablets inside organizations highlights the need to develop and adopt mobile device strategies, policies, processes and best practices.
A Practical Guide to a Mobile Strategy: Results from IDC's Mobile Benchmark Study aims to meet this need. Based on surveys of CIOs and IT professionals in Europe and the US, the goal of the study, according to an IDC press release, "is to provide IT organizations with insight into how their peers have addressed similar mobility issues."
The rise of BYOD has raised security concerns for organizations, as well. Responding to a survey recently published by InformationWeek, 84% of respondents identified lost or stolen devices as key mobile security concerns.
Respondents tallies show that 77% of organizations provide so-called "corporate-liable" smartphones to their employees, with 49% providing corporate-liable tablets. Organizations directly provided and paid for 70% of the combined total. Only 7% were purchased by employees with full or partial reimbursement.
"Most importantly, we recommend IT executives identify the costs associated with developing and supporting multiple mobile platforms, and apply a governance strategy to mobile application development efforts to ensure projects are prioritized based on the highest value add to the enterprise," said Meredith Whalen, senior vice president, IT Executive & Industry Research, IDC.
Additional highlights of IDC's benchmark study include:

  • Employees in executive, sales, IT, and marketing job functions are more often issued a smartphone over other functions within an organization
  • For corporate-liable smartphones, most organizations (73%) pay the entire mobile service bill (voice and data) directly to the mobile service provider. Similarly, 71% of organizations pay the entire mobile service plan for corporate-liable tablets
  • To mitigate risk and support costs of letting employees bring their own devices, 45% of the respondents provide limited IT help desk support for business applications on individual-liable smartphones, while 42% report they provide limited IT help desk support for business applications on individual-liable tablets. In both cases, hardware issues are relayed back to the mobile service provider. In 33% of the organizations surveyed, no support is provided for individual-liable smartphones and 44% of respondents reported no support for individual-liable tablets
  • Surprisingly, a high percent of respondents reported they expect tablets will be a second device to the laptop/desktop. The notion that tablets would be treated as second devices to laptops and refreshed every 2.5 years will be costly for IT organizations in the long run. IDC estimates it will cost the average large organization an additional 1% of their IT budget every year just to refresh the tablets alone


Written by Kevin Kutcher at 00:00
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