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Aggressive mobility plans bring risks, but the rewards are high

Thor Olavsrud | March 11, 2013
Mobility is a top-of-mind concern for a majority of CIOs today. Companies that are proactively embracing mobility to transform their businesses are incurring much greater costs associated with mobility incidents, but they are also reaping significant rewards, according to a new study by Symantec.

"It's reactive," Duckering says. "It's people coming in and saying 'I know how to use my device in my personal life, why can't I use it here?'"

Innovators are also taking a more active approach to implementing policies to manage mobile use, including the adoption of information protection tools. Symantec found innovators are nearly twice as likely to enforce mobile policies using technology, while most traditional organizations are either handling enforcement manually or don't do it at all.

Innovators Pay Higher Costs, Reap Greater Rewards

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the innovators are paying a price for their proactive adoption of mobile technologies. Innovators averaged twice as many mobile incidents in 2012--including lost devices and data breaches that led to regulatory fines and lost revenue. Traditionals had a median of 12 mobility incidents in 2012, compared with a median of 25 incidents among innovators. But on the flip side, innovators reported far more benefits from their adoption of mobility, including:

Increased productivity, speed and agility

Improvements in brand value, customer happiness and overall competitiveness

Happier employees and improved recruiting and retention rates

Innovators are also experiencing nearly 50 percent higher revenue growth than traditionals (44 percent vs. 30 percent). As a result, 64 percent of innovators say the benefits of mobility outweigh the risks, while 74 percent of traditionals feel the risks outweigh the benefits.

"Everyone seems to be getting benefits from going mobile," Duckering says. "We're really talking about degrees. More aggressive adoption of mobile seems to be resulting in more aggressive results."

Guidelines for Mobile Deployments

Whether your organization is pursuing aggressive adoption of mobile technologies or taking a more cautious approach, Duckering says all organizations should consider the following guidelines to make the most of their mobile deployments while reducing risks:

Start embracing mobility. Organizations should take a proactive approach and carefully plan an effective mobile implementation strategy. "Being cautious about mobility is OK," Duckering says. "Being resistant is not. End users are actually quite resourceful. If you tell them no, they can actually be pretty clever in finding ways to get around that."

Start with the apps with the greatest productivity benefits for employees. One of the best ways to get started with mobility is to implement mobile apps that will have an immediate impact on the business. "In some cases, email is the app with the greatest productivity benefits," Duckering notes. "In some cases, it's apps to better enable sales and marketing people in the field. There's always some low-hanging fruit that's going to provide that high degree of benefit that should be approached first.

Look for benefit while minimizing risks. Like innovators put policies and technologies in place to minimize the risks associated with mobility. Ensure secure access to apps, protect your apps and data, put in place effective device management, implement comprehensive threat protection and supply secure file sharing capabilities.

 

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