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Mobile Devices: The Bane and the Reality of Today's IT Departments

As if IT departments needed more proof that they are supporting more and more mobile devices, along comes another survey to tell them that. But this one, from CompTIA, had a few surprising conclusions.
As if IT departments needed more proof that they are supporting more and more mobile devices, along comes another survey to tell them that. But this one, from CompTIA, had a few surprising conclusions.A recent poll conducted by the Computer Technology Industry Association notes that IT departments "are spending more time and resources supporting mobile communications and computing devices."

The first surprising conclusion? Nearly two-thirds (65.7 percent) of those polled said "their IT departments are spending more time and resources supporting the BlackBerry than any other comparable device." Guess where the iPhone landed? Just two percent of those polled were supporting it. (I guess I was wrong, for now.)

What was more surprising though, was that digital music players placed third in the survey at 4.5 percent, ahead of personal digital assistants, cell phones, laptop,, smart phones, and tablet PCs.

ConnectIT quotes Steven Ostrowski, director of corporate communications at CompTIA: "I guess it's surprising that corporate IT departments would be supporting MP3 players or iPods or whatever the device has to be."

Yes it is surprising. Is anyone using their iPod to get more work done? I'd love to hear how.

But the money quote comes from CompTIA's president and CEO, John Venator: "Today's IT professional is no longer dealing with a handful of computers and printers networked in a single location. They're dealing with a plethora of devices that connect the headquarters to a mobile workforce, at-home teleworkers and satellite offices half a city or half a continent away. The ability to access applications and data from virtually any location is a powerful tool that enhances efficiency and productivity. But to take full advantage, organizations must employ IT professionals with a broad base of skills and professional certifications."

Mobile devices are helping people get their jobs done and IT departments in small and midsize businesses need to recognize that in assessing their infrastructure, their training, and in new hires.

But do they need to help users whistle while they work?

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Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer