How is enterprise mobility rollout taking shape in the UK?

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

A research report from IFS has revealed that enterprise mobility schemes are happening “quickly” in the UK because of business benefits – with security concerns often being overlooked.

The report, which covered 200 UK-based CIOs and IT managers, focused on the state of enterprise mobility, why companies are investing – or not – and the most popular applications used.

Primarily, UK enterprises are investing in mobility solutions because it enables a more flexible workforce, according to 83% of respondents, whilst more than two thirds (68%) claimed it boosted company productivity, which the report notes is “effectively two sides of the same coin”. Similar reasons were set out lower down the scale, with quicker response times (45%), saving IT costs (43%) and keeping the business competitive (42%) all popular.

In contrast, the main reason why companies don’t invest, by some distance, is “a lack of business criticality” – a roundabout way of saying ‘it’s not important to us’. Security concerns (46%), a lack of IT resources (31%) and not having a scheme which is suitable for the workforce (23%) were also cited.

The most important apps, in the main, aided business productivity. Email and calendar apps (57%) were the most popular, followed by sales and CRM (52%) and business admin apps (45%).

However, the report noted the differences in industry sector. Expense apps were the most popular in the retail distribution and transport trade (72%), whilst CRM apps were most popular in manufacturing and production (71%).

Yet security can often be overlooked by companies. Even though many companies didn’t see it as critical to their business, security was still key. Perhaps not surprisingly, the financial services sector was most concerned (95%) about security, although every sector showed high levels of concern; IT and telecoms (93%), utilities (90%) and manufacturing and production (85%) respectively.

So what are the key takeaways from this report? Enterprise mobility is here – that much we know, with enthusiasm “widespread” according to the research – yet with a few provisos.

The report asks whether there’s ambivalence in some industries over the definition of enterprise mobility – particularly retail and distribution, because technologies such as stock scanners and wireless networking “have been in use…for decades.”

Yet even though the benefits are clear to businesses and enthusiasm is high, security and ambivalence remain an issue. IFS has issued five recommendations:

  • Mobility needs to be “fully embraced” by enterprises because the benefits are “clear”
  • Enterprises should communicate with analysts to make the benefits of mobility clearer
  • Enterprises should not be deterred by security concerns
  • Enterprises need to use business partners – particularly MSPs – to put together secure mobility schemes
  • Enterprises need to focus on employees rather than customers for mobility

Do you agree with these recommendations and how enterprise mobility rollout is shaping up? in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their use-cases? Attend the co-located IoT Tech Expo, Blockchain Expo, AI & Big Data Expo and Cyber Security & Cloud Expo World Series with upcoming events in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam and explore the future of enterprise technology.

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