In just the past few months, several survey findings have been released on the corporate use of smartphones, revealing how enterprises can best manage mobile devices while keeping the enterprise secure.
NetworkWorld surveyed more than 600 respondents, focusing on how employees leverage mobile devices within the enterprise.
• Top smartphone applications used by users are: email, calendar, Google search, and GPS. As much as we talk about the strategic importance and influence of social media in the enterprise, NetworkWorld found that not any one social networking or productivity application earned more than one percent of the share when asked which apps do you use most for personal and business. In fact, email, calendar, Google search, and GPS topped the list. This makes sense. While there is no doubt that social media is influential and even necessary in doing business today, individual users still rely on applications that directly help them do their job.
• The top Influencer when purchasing a smartphone is reviews. A whopping 85.6 percent ranked reviews as the most influential, followed by price at 55 percent, friends at 43 percent, and co-workers at 34 percent. Interestingly, commercials ranked at just four percent. While employees may not be engaging in social media for their jobs specifically, they are most definitely engaging in social media and being influenced by their peers when it comes to purchasing technology. For the enterprise, this calls for new strategic thinking when it comes to both marketing strategy and IT in terms of where resources are deployed.
• Business users still rely on traditional PCs and laptops. Given the worthy hype of smartphones and tablets, users do not see them replacing the computer. Only two percent said they would not need a PC if they had a smartphone. In fact, the average user has three or more mobile devices. The bigger trend is the mobile office. Less frequently today do employees work in static environments (the cube or a personal office). Rather, enterprises are creating dynamic work environments for increased collaboration and flexibility for mobile workers and employees at large.
Other findings focus on device management as it relates to enterprise IT:
• Gartner states that the top concern for mobile security is BYOD. With no end in sight, enterprises are working hard to determine the best way to support this growth while keeping the enterprise environment secure. Virtualization is one such solution. With virtualization, the type of access device becomes inconsequential. And if a device is lost or stolen, data remains secure since it remains in the cloud or within the enterprise, rather than on a device.
• When it comes to mobile devices in the enterprise, Strategy Analytics reports that almost all smartphones and tablets are corporate-liable devices, including most BYOD smartphones. An interesting trend is that the average replacement cycle for these devices is just 1.1 years, a considerable change reflecting a high degree of turnover. This not only affects device management, but especially security, access, and compatibility with the corporate network and applications. Layered security and open platforms such as Android and the cloud are helping with this integration.