Companies fearful of mobile business apps


Majority of IT decision makers say they will adopt mobile business apps in the next 12 months, but remain worried about security and compliance

Three quarters of IT decision makers in enterprises have stated they plan to adopt mobile business apps in the next 12 months, but security, potential loss of data and compliance remain key concerns about business application implementation.

Of those questioned in new research into enterprise use of business apps on mobile devices by Integralis, a global provider of IT security and information risk management solutions, over half (58%) expect to adopt personal information management apps.

The trend towards mobile devices within the workplace moves on a pace with interest in apps such as such as email, calendars and contacts. Communication apps, such as Webex Skype and iCloud are likely to be adopted by 44% of those surveyed, with 39% of respondents planning to offer access to internal apps for functions such as updating leave calendars. Collaboration tools, such as Dropbox and Sharepoint will be deployed by just over a third (35%), Integralis said.

Beyond syncing calendars, communicating and collaborating, core mobile business applications offer the potential to transform the way businesses operate. In the coming 12 months, 30% of respondents expect to purchase core mobile business applications. This is a trend that is likely to increase significantly as organisations realise the benefits and are reassured of the security of BYOD and mobile applications.

The 25 to 44 years age group is much keener than those 45 years and older to embrace the opportunities presented by mobile business applications but will need to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions. Commenting on this, Neal Lillywhite, managing director, UK at Integralis, said: 'It is important that we are educating and training the next generation of CIOs and CISOs, so that they have the skills and understanding to fully exploit the advances in mobile technology and to adopt new working practices securely.'

Yet despite the potential gains in productivity, flexibility and efficiency offered by mobile business applications, over a quarter of organisations (28%) still do not allow them to be downloaded to mobile devices. Commented Alastair Broom, product marketing director at Integralis: 'This could be that the case has yet to be proven or that the organisation is still to implement a secure mobile device management strategy. A surprising 13% of respondents have no policies in place or enforced around mobile business applications being downloaded and used by employees, leaving them vulnerable to breaches, data loss, cybercrime and regulatory admonishment.'

Over half (54%) cited managing security while 44% highlighted data protection and compliance as their key concerns around the increasing use of mobile business applications. Coupled with these specific concerns, IT decision makers are also worried about how to finance these changes (34%) and also the potential strain on current IT resources (29%). Broom continued: 'Our research findings demonstrate the continuing trend towards BYOD adoption and the demand for the development of mobile business applications.It also highlights that security and compliance continue to be at the forefront of concerns about employee-owned/shared devices. For companies to be able to exploit the potential benefits of collaborative and remote working, these concerns have to be addressed.'

Bob Tarzey, service director at analyst firm, Quocirca, added: 'Consumerisation of IT cannot be ignored; it is a fact of life that all businesses must face up to. Enable it and, ultimately, your business will benefit with a more motivated and flexible workforce using devices they have chosen for themselves because of the productivity they enable. Providing employees with a simple secure way to access the company network is a key factor which will enable employers to embrace mobile working and BYOD.'


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