Mobile is the crux of innovation in business today—it isn’t just something to think about, it’s critical to business success. A new survey from SOTI, a provider of Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions, shows most organizations get it: 2016 will see major investments made in mobile technology and EMM will need to quickly catch up.
Survey Results Reflect the Transformation of Big Business
We spend a lot of time talking about bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies, but BYOD is an entry point, not a strategy. SOTI’s survey confirms that if that’s what you’re fixated on, you may not even see the competition as it goes sailing by. Sixty-eight percent of IT decision makers cite mobility as a driver of success—a figure that jumps to 74 percent for companies with a workforce of 1,000 or more.
“Most organizations expect the burgeoning focus on mobility will consume, on average, nearly one-fifth of their IT budgets in 2016,” SOTI reported. “An additional 25 percent of enterprises will spend between 20 to 50 percent of their IT budget on mobile technology investments.”
That’s a significant spend on something that was barely on the radar just five years ago. However, where IT once had an exclusive hold over which technology made the cut and how it would be used, mobility is being driven not just by IT but also employees and, significantly, consumers in general.
SOTI’s survey reveals that roughly 40 to 50 percent of companies are leveraging mobile platforms to:
- Deliver new products and services
- Drive business process transformation and competitive differentiation
- Extend their ability to engage with customers and partners
This reflects the paradigm shift to a mobile first strategy and what Gartner has described as the mobility iceberg:
“Just below the surface lies a torrent of innovations that includes mobile applications, social media, mobile health, cloud computing, mobile payments, interconnected machines, mobile collaboration, and wireless technologies.”
Security, Integration, and Keeping Pace Are Top Concerns
There’s no question that mobile is transformative, not just in the way we do business but in the way we expect to interact with the world around us—a push that isn’t without its risks and growing pains.
When asked to name their top concerns about EMM, IT executives identified the following as their top three:
- Nearly 7 in 10 are most apprehensive about mobile security, hacking, and malware.
- Forty-seven percent worry about their “ability to keep pace with rapidly changing mobile technologies.”
- Forty-six percent are concerned about integration with enterprise systems.
Mobile security is where the democratization of technology is clearest, explaining why it consistently ranks as a high priority. As the rise of BYOD has shown, if IT doesn’t meet its employees where they are, they’ll find their own way now and apologize later—which does nothing to reduce the threats highlighted by the survey:
- Accidental data exposure
- Outside hackers
- Corporate espionage
- Man-in-the-middle attacks
While some of these threats reflect an intent to do harm, some are a byproduct of the blurred lines between work and personal information and the mobile lifestyle so many workers have adopted. The survey also revealed that IT decision makers are already aware that a majority of their employees:
- Use personal devices to access work data
- Use corporate-issued devices to access public Wi-Fi
- Use consumer cloud storage for work files
- Have forwarded a work document to a personal address
- Have taken a photo of collaborative work
Balancing these risks and rewards takes a thoughtful and collaborative EMM strategy, something SOTI’s survey indicates most enterprise-level organizations currently lack. However, the significant spend already in the pipeline indicates that’s likely to change.
The implications for enterprise mobility are clear: To protect their bottom line, organizations need to take a mobile-first approach to every aspect of their business. To do otherwise will mean nothing less that rapidly being left behind.
Are you taking a mobile first approach? Share with us how in the comments below. If you are unsure where to start comment below and we’ll be happy to share some tips and insights.