Mobility isn't what it used to be. Once a tool reserved for executives and outside salespeople. mobile devices are now used by many white- and blue-collar workers, who need the ability to reply to e-mails, access documents and use company applications from anywhere, anytime. That makes mobility, which had been a telecom issue, an IT concern.
CIO Insight's 2008 Mobility Survey uncovers significant penetration of mobile devices in the workplace, with nearly half of employees equipped with cell phones and nearly one-fifth with smart phones. It also shows how this increase in the use of mobility devices in the enterprise has affected IT organizations, as they invest in new infrastructure, train and retrain support staff, and address heightened compliance requirements.
Most of the CIOs we surveyed don't perceive heightened security issues as a result of mobility. However, 41 percent acknowledge that security is a top challenge in developing and executing mobile strategies.
With all the infrastructure and support investment required by mobile technologies, you might think they don't deliver much cost savings. And you'd be right--for the most part.
The CIOs we surveyed cited the process-related benefits of mobility: the ability to work anywhere, to be responsive to customers and to be more productive. But with rising gasoline prices, a growing number of employees are more likely to work from home at least some of the time, so investment in mobility technologies may provide cost savings in the end.
As corporate applications that go beyond e-mail are increasingly developed and deployed on mobile devices, the demand for more data that's delivered faster will increase. As a result, IT will face growing challenges in security, integration, compliance and support. CIOs will have to meet these challenges to keep their organizations competitive and profitable.
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