Market analyst company IDC Australia has released a new report which analyses the attitudes and policies on smartphones, media tablets and the use of corporate applications via mobile devices in the corporate environment. The report is based on IDC’s annual Continuum Survey, as well as numerous face to face discussions with CIOs and IT managers.
BYOD and the effective use of mobile technology in the workspace continues to be an area of focus for IT managers. Half (49%) indicated an increase of spending on mobility in 2012, with 45% keeping spending at the same level as the previous year. Very few are predicting a drop.
“With the proliferation of smartphones (10% growth so far this year) and media tablets (more than doubling), organisations are seeing the benefits of supporting corporate applications on mobile devices,” says Siow-Meng Soh, a senior analyst at IDC Australia. “But the BYOD trend also poses many challenges for the IT department, particularly the need to support a wide variety of devices, operating systems and applications.”
User organisations are approaching the support of mobile applications in many different ways, says Soh. “At one extreme they are supporting applications only on corporate issued devices, and prohibiting users bringing devices to the workplace. At the other extreme, some IT departments will encourage consumer devices by issuing employee stipends. IT departments that have a BYOD strategy tend to be divided on the level of support they will offer employees.”
The survey also reveals a small minority of respondents which choose to ignore the issue entirely. “Many enterprises lack a holistic approach and strategy for managing a mobile fleet. This is exacerbated by a very fragmented ecosystem focused on offering point solutions to point problems. There are many mobile device management and security solutions in the market, but some companies have deployed these solutions without covering other areas such as HR, legal and device ownership issues.”
Many IT managers are more reluctant to deploy applications to media tablets than they are with smartphones. But more tablets will find their way into the corporate environment as vendors roll out better products in the coming months. “Key verticals such as education, health and government will find it appealing to use media tablets for enhancing productivity and customer service”.