CIOs mention security, cost as top mobility challenges

by CXOtoday News Desk    Sep 27, 2012

mobile deviceThe enterprise mobile landscape has changed dramatically over the past few years. A recent report by research and consulting firm McKinsey stated that although mobility offers a huge opportunity for enterprises to boost productivity and efficiency, CIOs are faced with several challenges in areas such as cost, security and governance.

McKinsey researchers recently surveyed 250 CIOs on their mobility strategies. Of them, 56 percent reported a strong demand from their staff to support a wide range of mobile devices. Nearly 77 percent of CIOs said that they are planning to allow their employees to use personal mobile devices for accessing company data and applications. Almost all the CIOs said in the next two years they are planning to deploy more than 25 mobility applications.

According to McKinsey researchers, mobile-centric innovations are growing at a phenomenal rate with newer devices and applications being introduced in the market almost every month. And each innovation brings with it newer sets of opportunities. Tablets for example, is driving mobility as nearly 30 percent of the CIOs surveyed said that tablets will be replaced by laptops in the near future.

On the emerging technologies that are supporting the mobile revolution, most CIOs seemed to be upbeat about cloud-based applications that allow ubiquitous access to critical enterprise resources. The report noted that providing mobile access to CRM and ERP are further expected to enhance employee productivity in core business areas.

However, the report states that even though the growth potential of enterprise mobility is tremendous, it comes with its share of challenges. Most CIOs mention security, cost and governance as the critical challenges in this space.

Security was considered to be the topmost concern in enterprise mobility. Nearly 45 percent of the CIOs mentioned security as the key barrier to widespread mobile deployments within the enterprise. The BYOD concept has further triggered security concerns of CIOs, despite recent improvements in mobile-device-management solutions and device security.

Nearly 41 percent of CIOs cited cost as another key challenge. The infrastructure cost was also said to be quite high and included components such as mobile-device management, expanded e-mail capacity, and help-desk support.

CIOs also cited governance as a challenge in this area because mobility doesn’t clearly fit within any traditional IT silo. In turn, it affects application development, business processes, infrastructure, and operational processes. The McKinsey report states that each of the areas needs a major focus.

“With the proliferation of smart devices such as smartphones, tablets, and those enabled by 3G and 4G networks, as well as a rise in the number innovative applications, enterprise mobility is increasingly becoming an important tool to enhance efficiency,” said Sanjeev Kumar, Group CIO & President – Business Excellence of Adhunik Group. However, he believes that the need of the hour is a strong mobility strategy and practice that every organisation should have in place.

To reap the potential benefits of enterprise mobility, McKinsey researchers also recommend CIOs and the mobile technology vendors to address these challenges so that they can deliver a set of secure and reliable services in the increasingly complex business environment.