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CIOs and IT managers are getting a handle on Android smartphones and tablets like Apple's iPad in the workplace, suggests a new study conducted Vanson Bourne and backed by IT management specialists CA Technologies. These days, mobile apps are the next big challenge.
Sixty three percent of the 1,300 worldwide IT managers surveyed for the report identified mobile apps, for employees or customers, as their most pressing priority. By comparison, the device management component of the "bring your own device" (BYOD) movement ranked first for just 37 percent of respondents.
The shift from devices to apps reflects mobility's effect on IT, said CA Technologies' Ram Varadarajan, general manager of New Business Innovation. "Mobility has dramatically elevated the complexity of what is needed both for internal users and customer-facing systems," he said in a statement.
Coming up short on mobile security or delivering a poor mobile experience can be damaging to a business, argued Varadarajan.
Risks include "inadvertent dissemination of corporate information, or negatively impacting brand reputation because of poor customer experience though a mobile application shopping experience," he said. Over a third of those polled for the study pegged security and privacy as their top challenge.
Overall, the consensus is that mobility is a must-have for business success.
"Nearly all (83 percent) of U.S. respondents recognize a greater need for realizing business opportunities with mobility," noted CA in company remarks. Respondents that said they were successful with their mobile programs reported a 17 to 24 percent improvement to their businesses, in terms of higher revenues, lower costs and improved productivity, among others benchmarks.
Over the next three years, IT spending on mobility will rise 50 percent, indicated the study, and a good portion of that may go toward satisfying customers. Until now, IT managers largely focused on mobilizing their own employees, but the tide is turning.
A large percentage (42 percent) of respondents said that increased customer demand was the "number one driver of mobility initiatives." Leveraging mobile technologies to improve the customer experience (33 percent) and customer support (26 percent) also ranked high.
Despite the progress being made by enterprises, stumbling blocks remain. The study identified budget constraints, a lack of skilled personnel and a multitude of mobile platforms as the main hurdles that are holding mobile adoption in some organizations.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.
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