Photo - Nigel Tan, Symantec's Director for Systems Engineering in Malaysia.
Mobility has shifted upwards in the Malaysian IT industry's list of priorities, according to security solutions firm Symantec's 2013 State of Mobility survey, which also finds that two types of organisations - 'Innovators' and 'Traditionals' - have emerged.
Globally, 84 percent of innovators are moving ahead with mobility, motivated by business drivers, and are realising significant benefits while traditional organisations are adopting mobility more slowly and reactively and seeing fewer benefits, said Symantec's director for Systems Engineering in Malaysia, Nigel Tan.
"Mobility has evolved into one of IT's top priorities in Malaysia," he said. "Today, more and more Malaysian organisations view mobility as a tool to improve productivity and innovators in particular, feel that the benefits outweigh the risks. Organisations taking a proactive approach benefit much more than those that put it off until they eventually find themselves trying to catch up to the competition."
Tan said survey findings showed that in Malaysia, 65 percent considered business drivers to be important while 75 percent felt that user demand was important. "Two-thirds of innovators say the benefits of mobility outweigh the risks but three quarters of the traditionals feel that the reverse is true."
"That the two groups see the benefits and risks of mobility differently is also reflected in the rate of mobility adoption," he said. "Among innovators globally, 66 percent say the benefits are worth the risks, while 74 percent of traditional businesses feel the risks are not worth it."
"In Malaysia, which consists of both innovators and traditionals, 38 percent felt that the benefits outweighed the risks," said Tan. "This is reflected in the rate of mobility adoption, with 50 percent more employees using smartphones among innovators than among traditionals. Globally, more than half (55 percent) are also taking control of purchasing phones for employees, compared to 44 percent of traditionals. Malaysia tracked more closely with traditionals here with 47 percent doing so.
Innovative mobile adopters go beyond the purchase of mobile devices, he said. "They also more often have mobility policies, and they are twice as likely to use technology to enforce their policies (60 percent in the innovators as opposed to 33 percent among traditional globally)."
"Malaysian organisations sway towards the 'innovator' mentality with 61 percent using technology to enforce mobile policies," said Tan. "In addition, innovators are more likely to use mobile devices for running business apps, and in Malaysia, 83 percent are discussing deploying private app stores for employees as opposed to just 55 percent in the case of traditional organisations."
Symantec's 2013 State of Mobility Survey represents the experiences of 3,236 businesses, from 29 countries. Respondents were the individuals in charge of computing - either senior staff in the case of enterprises, or often an employee with technical aptitude among SMBs [small and medium businesses]. Responses came from companies with a range of five to more than 5,000 employees. The survey focuses on 150 organisations from Malaysia and compares those results to the global results for what are classified as "Traditionals" and "Innovators".
Innovators enjoy three key benefits
Tan said innovators experience more costs associated with it. "They averaged twice as many mobile incidents during the last year, such as lost devices and data breaches, leading to consequences such as regulatory fines and lost revenue."
However, he said, the innovators also experienced far more benefits, in three key areas:
- Increased productivity, speed and agility
- Improvements in brand value, customer happiness and overall competitiveness
- Happier employees and improved recruiting and retention rates
"Most importantly, however, the innovators are experiencing nearly 50 percent higher revenue growth than traditionals (44 percent versus 30 percent) globally. Organisations in Malaysia show an average of 40 percent revenue growth. All things considered, businesses perceive net positive results with mobility," said Tan, adding that the survey underpinned the positive results mobility can have on the business if managed correctly.
"Good practice includes embracing mobility while being cautious," he said. "Organisations should take a proactive approach and carefully plan an effective mobile implementation strategy."
"Start with the apps with greatest productivity benefits for employees," said Tan. "One of the best ways to get started with mobility is to implement mobile apps that will have an immediate impact on the business. Learn from the innovators - get the benefits while minimising the risks. The key is to be aware of the risks associated with mobility such as information loss, and to follow the example of the innovators."
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