iPhones & iPads: A Big Challenge To IT, But Vital To Business



Mobile devices are now so common in the workplace that we’ve reached a tipping point where providing mobile options for many desktop apps has become a requirement for businesses. That’s the findings of a new survey from Symantec on mobile device use in business.

The survey, initially reported by InfoWorld, identified that not only are the numbers of mobile devices increasing, but also that the tasks they perform are increasing. A dramatic number of companies are now seeing core business tasks being completed on mobile devices. That’s driving the need for companies to develop comprehensive mobile apps for access to corporate information systems.

The survey included responses from IT professionals in 6275 organizations in 43 countries. It also included a mix of enterprise companies and smaller businesses.

The results offer a picture of how important internal mobile apps have become:

  • 71% of companies are discussing their options for custom apps
  • 59% are running line-of-business applications on mobile devices
  • 66% are considering creating corporate app stores to distribute internal apps to employees

While those numbers clearly show that internal app development is already a need for almost all businesses, the survey also found that half of the respondents view mobile development and management as an extremely challenging.  Mobile security remains a top concern for IT departments according the survey.

The survey didn’t account for whether development is centered around corporate devices or employee-owned options, but Brian Duckering, senior manager with the endpoint management and mobility group at Symantec did note that BYOD programs are becoming more common. The survey also didn’t address whether development was centered around a single platform like Apple’s iOS or if plans involved support for multiple smartphone operating systems.

Ultimately, this illustrates why mobile development is one of the most in-demand technology skills. It also highlights that issues like creating good iOS or Android apps and granting users access to company resources from mobile devices like the iPhone, iPad, and Android handsets have become real business needs. Perhaps the most telling point of the survey is that half of the respondents described handling these issues as being extremely challenging. That underscores how quickly the mobile business landscape has changed over the past two or three years and that successful strategies for handling today’s mobile technology are still evolving.


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