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Mobile Opportunities Emerge On IT's Radar

IT is looking at mobility as a way to better connect with customers, according to a new survey. Smartphones and tablets aren't just a BYOD problem anymore.

As mobile devices flooded enterprises over the past few years, most of IT’s attention centered on BYOD challenges, including support, network access and data protection. Those challenges persist, but a new survey shows that IT recognizes mobile opportunities, not just headaches.

The survey from CA Technologies provides insight into how companies are stepping up to mobile challenges. CA commissioned a survey of 1,300 IT decision-makers in 17 countries, including the U.S., China and across Europe. The survey was conducted by Vanson Bourne earlier this year.

The survey asked why organizations are looking to implement mobile projects, and the top response was “An increased demand from customers using mobile devices.” In other words, mobile offers new ways to connect with customers and meet their needs.

The survey also asked what benefits respondents have seen or anticipate seeing from mobile projects. The highest combined response, at 86%, was an increase in customer satisfaction. Within that response, 34% of respondents reported already seeing benefits, while 52% anticipate a rise in customer satisfaction.

The customer imperative is reflected in a follow-up question that asked respondents to prioritize mobile projects. Here, customer-facing mobile apps and device support was the highest priority.

Security Issues Persist
However, internal BYOD and managing employee devices was a very close second on the priority list. That’s a clear indication that internal mobility challenges persist.

When asked what changes, if any, that companies had to make in the wake of the adoption of mobile devices, the top response was a redesign of security strategies and policies.

Data from other surveys dig into mobility security issues. The top concern for IT is loss or theft of a mobile device, according to the InformationWeek 2013 Mobile Security Survey, which gathered responses from 424 IT pros in April 2013. Other top concerns include users forwarding corporate data from mobile devices to cloud-based services, and mobile malware.

A clear majority of respondents, 68%, have an explicit policy that allows use of personal mobile devices for work. That’s a four percent jump from the 2012 survey. Another 20% say they are developing a policy. Only 12% don’t allow personal mobile devices for work (a policy which may be honored more in the breach than with compliance).

CA Technologies has a white paper with the full results of its survey, available here. You can also download the InformationWeek 2013 Mobile Security report for free here. Both require registration. For more on mobility, check out the Mobility track at Interop Las Vegas, where you can network with peers and experts and attend sessions on BYOD, security, WLAN management and more.