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CompTIA report sheds light on U.S. mobility adoption

IDC Corp. has said that every major IT player will make big investments in third platform solutions, those built around social, mobility, cloud and big data. Gartner says that these technologies are the fuel for the digital workplace. Channel partners have been getting an earful from their vendor partners about the need to rethink their business strategy as the industry transitions to the third platform.

Today, CompTIA released research findings about the adoption of and challenges around mobile technologies in the workplace. CompTIA’s Third Annual Trends in Enterprise Mobility study, conducted in March among 400 business and IT executives in the U.S., offers customer insight to help partners shape their mobility practices.

Mobile devices have clearly made their way into most organizations, according to survey respondents. Seventy percent of respondents said their companies have made some level of investment in mobility solutions, primarily in tablet computers and smartphones. According to the study, 61% of companies are deploying tablets, and 76% are deploying smartphones.

More than half of survey respondents, 58%, report that the top benefit of mobility is keeping employees connected. That was followed by higher productivity and the ability to reach employees at any time, each cited by 55% of respondents.

These findings suggest that respondents view mobility more as a way to help reshape their workforce than as a means to engage customers, cited by 48% of respondents, or reach new market segments, at 23%, although respondents recognize the benefits of the latter. These findings seems inline with the adage, walk before you run.

The challenges? According to the CompTIA survey, they run the gamut from procurement to management, varying by the size of the responding organization. Channel partners know a customer’s challenge is their opportunity.

For example, smaller companies are challenged by a lack of skills and resources for device integration and remote support. At mid-size companies, resources may be more available, but they’re not abundant. That makes it difficult for inhouse IT staff to balance the requirements of the IT department, such as enforcing policy and integrating devices, with those of end users. Because of the sheer number of users, larger firms, meanwhile, face greater complexity with device integration and the need to support multiple operating systems — despite that they have more IT staff than smaller companies.

And, finally, mobile security continues to be a top concern among survey respondents, although more respondents consider security issues a minor concern rather than a major one. For example, 44% of respondents reported that mobile security technology is a minor issue compared with 43% who consider it a major issue; 44% of respondents report that controlling security from a central location is a minor issue compared with 35% who said it’s a major one; and, poor security implementation by users was considered a minor issue by 44% of respondents compared to 31% who considered it a major issue.

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