Apple Has the Lead for the Mobile Enterprise, While Companies Start Paying More Attention to Apps

Apple iOS mobile devices continue to be most widely used among large business enterprises globally despite a sharp increase in the number of Google Android mobile devices, according to Citrix's latest Enterprise Mobility Cloud Report. In producing its Q4 2012 report, Citrix researchers also report that mobile app blacklisting is on the rise among enterprise, including such popular services as Facebook and Dropbox.

Apple's iOS mobile operating system (OS) widened its lead as the most popular among enterprises in 4Q 2012, accounting for 58% of all devices enrolled with Citrix. Apple's iOS "is the preferred platform in many vertical industries, such as retail and restaurants," according to Citrix's report, which is based on aggregated data from Citrix customers who have deployed enterprise cloud mobility solutions. Android lost two percentage points globally, while Microsoft Windows Mobile devices held steady at 7%.

While Apple's iOS platform leads in vertical industries where one-on-one customer engagement is common, Android leads among Citrix-enrolled enterprises with mobile field-service operations, such as transportation, healthcare companies and utilities. Communications service providers, healthcare organizations, most of which are home healthcare organizations who have deployed cloud-based enterprise mobility platforms, and transportation companies were the largest Android adopters, according to Citrix. Energy, legal and insurance companies were the largest adopters of iOS devices.

Android adoption increased among non-profits, education and communication services providers in 4Q, while iOS adoption increased in transportation, government, and retail and restaurants.

Citrix-enrolled enterprises deployed "well over 100 different third-party apps, plus a number of custom apps." The most common third-party enterprise mobile apps include Citrix Receiver, NitroDesk, TouchDown, Adobe Reader, Numbers, Box, Concur, Salesforces, Dropbox, Evernote, and iBooks.

Citrix researchers also concluded that enterprises are getting more aggressive when it comes to mobile app blacklisting: 18% of Citrix customers have implemented mobile app blacklisting policies, an 11% quarter-to-quarter increase.

Mobile apps that synchronize and share files outside the corporate network or are considered drains on productivity, such as games and social media, have been blacklisted. The most common blacklisted mobile apps were Angry Birds, Facebook, Dropbox, and YouTube. The most commonly whitelisted were Evernote, NitroDesk, TouchDown, Google Chrome and Adobe Readers. Skype was the only mobile app to be both blacklisted and whitelisted.

Passcode continued to be the most commonly deployed mobile app security policy among Citrix-enrolled enterprises at 63%, up 1% from 3Q. GPS ranked second, unchanged at 39%. Other policies included VPN (Virtual Private Network) at 24%, WiFi at 31%, and two-factor authentication at 14%.

Citrix also found that restrictions of device resources or apps, such as Goolge Play, device cameras or Bluetooth) rose 3% quarterly to 32%.

Other noteworthy findings of Citrix's Q4 2012 Enterprise Mobility Cloud Report include:

  • North American deployments (accounting for 71% of device enrollments worldwide) saw an increase in iOS, largely at the expense of Android, with iOS at 62%, Android 35%, and Windows Mobile 3%.
  • Asia Pacific/Japan (accounting for 2% of worldwide device enrollments) continued to see iOS dominance, with iOS gaining 7 share points to 75% and Android losing 7 to 25% of Citrix-enrolled customers. Citrix's Asia Pacific/Japan data continue to be skewed by a smaller number of customer deployments, the company noted.
  • An increase in mobile malware over the past year is something to consider along with increased Android usage, according to Citrix. "Whereas the number of unique malware samples detected in reputation systems totaled in the low thousands (versus 50,000-100,000 detected per day in non-mobile) anti-virus vendor McAfee saw a rise to nearly 40,000 in 2012, with 97% Android-based."

This data illustrates the growing importance for service providers to recognize mobile and app trends within enterprise and SMB customers. Having a solid understanding of these trends can help service providers better meet the needs of these existing and potential customers.

Written by Kevin Kutcher at 09:00
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