Gary Audin
Gary Audin is the President of Delphi, Inc. He has more than 40 years of computer, communications and security...
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Gary Audin | May 30, 2012 |


State of Mobility Survey

State of Mobility Survey In the opinion of the survey developers, a tipping point has been reached in the business use of mobile devices.

In the opinion of the survey developers, a tipping point has been reached in the business use of mobile devices.

No one disputes that available mobile apps are increasing rapidly, not just in the U.S. but worldwide. Mobile apps bring along many issues—positive and negative. Mobile apps are a catalyst for more business and personal transactions than ever before.

So what is the state of mobility? Symantec commissioned a survey to answer this question. The survey gathered comments from 6,275 organizations of a range organization sizes, 5 to 5,000 employees, in 43 countries, from August to November of 2011, "Symantec’s 2012 State of Mobility Survey; Global Findings. The greatest number of responses was from Canada followed by the U.S. A previous survey was conducted and published in 2011.

In the opinion of the survey developers, a tipping point has been reached in the business use of mobile devices. Organizations are developing and/or adopting line-of-business applications and making them available to their users. The favorable adoption of mobile apps has stimulated the introduction of custom applications. A few organizations are planning to create their own apps stores that will contain enterprise apps that are approved for employee use.

The surveyed organizations were asked which mobile apps are currently used in 2012 compared to 2011:

1. E-mail use increased from 75% to 86%.
2. Web browsing increased from 70% to 80%.
3. Contacts increased from 69% to 80%.
4. Calendar applications increased from 66% to 75%.
5. Sales force automation decreased from 63% to 51%.

The concept of developing an enterprise apps store was not viewed that positively. Only 11% said they had already implemented an apps store, while 19% were implementing one. A full 70% were either discussing the idea of an apps store or had no plans.

When the survey asked about business benefits, the respondents (2/3 to 3/4 of them), felt that all of the benefits mentioned were somewhat or extremely important. The list was topped with:

1. Increased efficiency
2. Increased workforce effectiveness
3. Reduced time to accomplish business tasks

...followed by 8 more benefits.

Respondents were asked about risk. "What are the top three computing initiative risks in terms of level of risk?" The top risk at 41% was mobile computing. Second was public cloud computing at 35% and then infrastructure at 31%. However, when questioned further about mobile computing, only 24% thought the risk was extremely or somewhat high. The rest of the respondents were neutral or thought the risk was low.

One of the remaining questions dealt with the financial losses that occurred in the past 12 months. Loss of revenue had a mean of $329,199 followed by loss of customer trust at $242,428, followed by reduced stock price loss at $169,280. This led to the next question, which was "What were the biggest losses due to mobile computing?" Loss of productivity topped the list with 33%. Direct financial cost (money or goods) was next at 31%. The loss of customer data, employee data or organization data was third with 23%.

The four key recommendations developed from the survey were:

* Plan apps that have mainstream use that can be broadly applied.
* Consider the enterprise infrastructure and strategically asses its ability to support the apps.
* Don't forget that mobile devices should be treated as real endpoints like desktop PCs and laptops, and be ready to manage them appropriately. Since mobile users will not necessarily be available in person, make sure you produce good policies and procedures and then enforce them.
* Focus on the data and apps and secure them as well as or even better than the apps and data at the office desktop.

Symantec's 2012 State of Mobility Survey was conducted by Applied Research. The results are based on responses from 43 countries in North America, EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), Asia Pacific, Japan and Latin America. Mobile devices in this survey refer to handheld devices such as the Blackberry, iPhone, Android, iTouch, and other similar devices. Laptops were not included as mobile devices.


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