Mobile means migraines for enterprises, survey shows

CompTIA survey finds mobile device integration to be a work in progress.

Smartphones and tablets are clearly favored client devices, but the devil is in the details. Most enterprises either aren't sure how to integrate these devices into their mainstream computing architecture, and many are debating whether to issue their own devices or allow a "bring your own device" (BYOD) approach.

iPhone Mirror images by Joe McKendrick (3)
Photo: Joe McKendrick

In my last post, we explored some evidence of the growing backlash against BYOD seen in enterprises, driven by security concerns, as well as a need for greater control and consistency.

survey by CompTIA, an IT industry group, documents the headaches mobile devices -- whether they are corporate owned or personal property -- are creating within enterprises. The survey finds many companies have yet to implement new policies and processes to tap into mobility’s full potential. Only 30 percent of companies have a formal mobility policy in place. Just eight percent have performed significant workflow changes as a result of mobility.

The study of 400 enterprises finds that more than 70 percent have made some level of investment to build out mobility solutions. But handling these devices – from procurement to management – is a major challenge. Integrating mobile devices into the overall IT infrastructure is the leading pain point, cited by 42 percent of respondents. Another 40 percent say balancing the needs of end users and IT is a challenge.

In addition, two-fifths of respondents say enforcing mobility policies among end users is difficult. A similar number say that the proliferation of mobile devices creates support issues, and their wide assortment of operating systems doesn't make things any easier.

BYOD is prevalent at this time -- 55 percent of U.S. firms have implemented some form of bring your own device, with the majority still providing some devices while allowing employees to supply their own as well.

A majority of executives say mobile devices are beneficial to their operations. Fifty-eight percent say it keeps employees connected, and 55 percent say it boosts productivity.

In addition, the study's authors add, don't write off the PC anytime soon. PCs remain a viable piece of the device market. Rather than seeing PCs vanish at the same rate that smartphones and tablets are appearing, the overall market is experiencing net growth, CompTIA found.