New Study Reveals Big Gaps in the Way Companies Treat Mobility; Security, Complexity Emerge as Top Challenges

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Research from MOBI reveals that 91% of organizations say they have a current mobile policy, yet one-third of IT-decision makers lack the confidence in their organization’s ability to identify all mobile devices that contain sensitive data

Today, MOBI an industry-leading mobility management platform, announced the results of “Enterprise Mobility in 2017 and What Comes Next,” a study exploring the current and future state of mobility at large multinational companies via a survey of 300 IT decision-makers. It is no surprise that most respondents see mobile devices and connectivity as essential to their organizations’ success; in fact, more than 80% ranked them as an eight or higher on a scale of one to 10 (where a rating of 10 means they’re 100% essential). But, despite the critical nature of mobility in the enterprise, the growing number of devices creates a complex puzzle for IT managers.

The future of enterprise mobility

When asked about what the enterprise mobility landscape will look like by 2022:

  • Nearly 25% of companies plan to eliminate desk phones soon. 15% plan to do so in the next 12 months.

     -Interestingly, respondents from technology companies are more likely than non-technology respondents to plan on retaining desk phones.

  • 50% expect machine-to-machine (M2M) devices to be commonplace at every enterprise five years from now.

     -This same group still expects laptops, smartphones, and tablets to be essential business tools in five years.

  • Almost half (48%) of IT decision-makers deploying Windows 10, Apple DEP/VPP, and/or Microsoft EMS within the next two years expect these solutions to help unify the management of all enterprise technologies into a single platform.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is also top of mind for many:

  • More than half (57%) believe employees will have their own virtual assistants in five years.
  • The majority (69%) feel AI will assist workers to perform their tasks better, and less than half (45%) think it will decrease the number of human workers required within an organization.
  • 28% see cost as the top barrier to implementing AI, followed by security unknowns (24%) and, interestingly, concerns about employee morale (21%).

“Our survey showed that only one percent of IT decision makers think artificial intelligence won’t have much of an impact at their organization,” said Josh Garrett, Co-Founder and President of MOBI. “AI is going to be a huge deal for every type of worker, and it’s encouraging to see 99% of IT leaders are already thinking about how artificial intelligence is going to impact their company.”

Security and policy compliance a key concern

A significant percentage of IT decision-makers are struggling with concerns about securing apps and data on mobile devices, with more than 40% agreeing mobile security is “average at best” within their organizations.

  • A shocking one-third lack the confidence in their organization’s ability to even identify all mobile devices that contain sensitive business data.
  • On top of that, 25% aren’t confident employees understand how to proceed when a device is lost or stolen.
  • Only 57% are confident their company has actively enrolled security software on every managed mobile device.

“Multiple studies have shown that data security is a top concern for enterprises, but this level of care doesn’t always translate to mobile device management,” said Chris Koeneman, Senior Vice President at MOBI. “Even being able to identify mobile devices that are connected to an enterprise is difficult for many organizations.”

Confusion and complexity plague enterprise mobility

As the pace of innovation and development accelerates alongside the rate of mobile device adoption, complexity plagues enterprises and the IT managers tasked with building its supporting infrastructure.

“We’re seeing a disparity in where companies want their mobility programs to be and where they currently are,” said Koeneman. “It’s clear that IT leaders understand that mobile devices and connectivity are crucial to a company, however, there is even a disconnect between the language IT managers use and how technology solution providers position their products.”

  • IT managers are struggling to contain unnecessary wireless carrier costs. Most decision makers—61%—believe that at least half of each mobile employee’s monthly wireless carrier bill is spent on overage charges.
  • Most mobility program managers lack confidence in their ability to understand newer industry abbreviations and terms. In fact, fewer than half of respondents were confident they could define and explain terms like Unified Endpoint Management (UEM), Telecom Expense Management (TEM), and Internet of Things (IoT).

     -Despite its media buzz, only 43% of IT leaders felt confident explaining the acronym IoT.

No perfect enterprise mobility program

As enterprise mobility evolves and changes, many organizations are discovering that the best answer isn’t one perfect mobility program; it’s usually a combination of several good ones. As corporate programs expand to include new regions, user populations, and devices, it’s almost impossible to satisfy every employee’s needs with a single device and/or program type.

  • When it comes to Android versus Apple devices, usage is split.

     -61% allow employees to use either Apple or Android
     -28% require employees to use only Apple
     -11% require employees to use only Android

  • More than half of all mobility leaders leverage a mix of different programs. These include:

     -Corporate Liable (CL)
     -Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled (COPE)
     -Choose Your Own Device (CYOD)
     -Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
     -Direct-to-Carrier stipends

“Despite all the recent media attention, BYOD is actually tied with CYOD as the fourth-most popular global program type,” said Koeneman. “This indicates an enterprise migration away from user freedom and choice toward more secure, less complex mobility management.”

About the Survey:
Enterprise Mobility in 2017 and What Comes Next: A Global IT Leader Survey was conducted via online interviews during the summer of 2017 among a representative sampling of 300 IT decision makers at multinational enterprises with at least 1,000 employees. The full report is available for download here, which includes data breakdowns by industry and company size.

About MOBI:
MOBI is a Mobility Management Platform enabling enterprises to centralize, comprehend, and control their device ecosystems. Our industry-leading cloud software saves your program money and satisfies all global enterprise needs. Learn more about our mobility software and solutions at MOBIwm.com.

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Meagan Meldrim
Finn Partners on behalf of MOBI
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