Wireless, Mobility Spending In Business To Rise 36% In 2005

Survey also says security and airtime costs are the largest barriers to expanding wireless and mobile capabilities.
Enterprise spending for wireless and mobility will increase 36 percent in 2005, according to a survey of IT managers released Thursday by NOP World Technology.

Besides increased spending, the survey found already-strong penetration of mobile devices with more than 70 percent of enterprises using cell phones, more than half using notebook computers and about 40 percent using PDAs. About a third of all companies use smartphones, the survey found.

Device convergence is relatively unimportant, however, with only 42 percent saying they found it important to have end users carry a single device for voice and data. However, two-thirds said that having a consistent operating system for all mobile devices was important.

"As we've seen with PCs, businesses want a consistent platform for their software but it's a different story with (mobile) hardware devices," Richard March, a NOP World Technology senior vice president said in a statement. "Form factor, battery life or security concerns are possible reasons as to why businesses are less interested in using one device for all of their wireless data."

Security and the cost of airtime tied as the leading barrier to wider deployment of mobility initiatives, the survey found, with 77 percent of respondents citing those concerns. About 72 percent cited support costs as a barrier.

The study found that enterprises tend to think of their wireless data carrier as their primary vendor of mobility products. About 39 percent of respondents felt that way, according to the survey.

"Businesses are thinking of their carriers such as Verizon Wireless and others as their primary vendor because reliability and coverage is so critical," March said. "However, other players such as handset manufacturers and computer makers may grow in influence as more productivity and industry-specific applications are developed for wireless."

The survey also found that Motorola was the preferred brand for mobile voice equipment among respondents and Research In Motion's BlackBerry was the preferred data services provider, just edging out Dell and Hewlett-Packard.

The survey questioned a panel of more than 400 IT decision makers, according to the company.

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