Australian enterprises more likely to be in ‘mobile void’: Unisys

Australian businesses are lagging behind their international counterparts when it comes to the adoption of mobile technology for anything other than internal processes, according to a new report by Unisys.
Written by Leon Spencer, Contributor on

Australian enterprises are less likely than their international counterparts to embrace mobility as a core part of their business and IT strategies, and twice as likely as the rest of the world to rate themselves at the bottom of the enterprise mobile maturity scale — in the "mobile void", according to a new global research report by Unisys.

Unisys commissioned US technology research business, IDG Connect, to survey 449 business and IT decision makers across 13 countries — including 49 decision makers in Australia.

The report, From Mobile Void to Mobile Enterprise: Keeping Up With Mobility Trendsetters (PDF), suggests that more Australian businesses are currently sitting in a "mobile void" than businesses in other regions, in terms of using mobility in core business strategies.

The research found that most respondent organisations had mobility strategies in place, but only 21 percent globally, and 6 percent in Australia, had placed themselves in the most mature mobility category, which according to Unisys is characterised by having a defined mobility strategy that drives the technology roadmap, tracks success metrics, has mobility-related policies in place, and has integrated mobility into overall enterprise governance.

The report revealed that the majority of organisations globally and in Australia, either have strategies and policies in place but no proactive governance or are "mobile aware" with pockets of mobile initiatives and some policies in place but no overall strategy or governance.

However, Australian organisations are almost twice as likely as the global average to be on the bottom of the maturity scale, according to Unisys, in what it terms the 'mobile void' category — with no strategy, policies, or governance.

According to Lee Ward, vice president and general manager of IT outsourcing for Unisys Asia Pacific, despite Australia's tendency to be an early adopter of mobility for business, there is a reluctance to move beyond that initial step.

"Many Australian organisations were early adopters when it came to deploying mobile devices to employees and supporting BYOD," said Ward. "However, our research and our discussions with many local organisations have revealed that many of them haven’t moved beyond the early stages of mobility adoption to embrace mobility as a core part of their business strategies.

"Less than one third (29 percent) of Australian organisations have implemented a mobility roadmap driven by business strategy compared more than half (52 percent) of 'mobile trendsetters'," she said.

However, according to the report, Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) — as a combined region — fared comparatively well, with 36 percent of respondents having implemented a roadmap driven by a comprehensive business strategy, compared to 25 percent in the North America region — Canada and the US.

The ANZ region also fared well in other areas, compared to international results, with 69 percent of respondents indicating they had implemented protection of data accessed through the mobile device, compared to just 38 percent in North America, and 51 percent offering end-user services targeted to mobile workers' specific job functions compared to only 24 percent in North America.

In fact, according to the report, the ANZ region saw better results than the worldwide average in every category, except for 'virtualised desktop/cloud-based services' designed to allow data to be stored somewhere other than the mobile device.

In this category, only 27 percent of respondents in ANZ said they had these virtualised desktop mechanisms in place, compared to 29 percent globally.

The Enterprise Mobility Research was conducted across 13 countries: the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, UK, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand.

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