CIOs worry about enterprise mobile security, cost

With 100 million iPads and close to a billion smartphones in user, the mobile invasion of enterprise IT is underway.

A recent CIO survey by McKinsey affirms this, but warns that IT leaders are worried about security, cost and governance.

McKinsey’s poll of 250 CIOs worldwide found:

– 30% believed laptops could be replaced by tablets in the coming years.

– 56% reported strong demand from employees to support a wide range of mobile devices.

– 77% were planning to allow staff to use personal mobile devices to access company data and apps.

Almost all CIOs said they expected to deploy more than 25 mobility applications in the next two years. They believe mobility can deliver a productivity revolution through cloud-based apps and sensor networks, and support new customer channels.

Not surprisingly, security is the biggest problem, cited by 45%. McKinsey’s advice is to focus on security issues early:

Companies with successful mobile strategies tend to involve corporate security staff early in strategy development, embed security as a core component of the mobile architecture, and develop clear mobile policies that balance user demand with security requirements. Some companies are making this trade-off by limiting which applications can be locally installed on mobile devices. At some companies, for example, ERP systems can be accessed but not locally installed, which ensures that data do not leave the premises.

With iPad and related outlays reaching as much as $600 -$700, 41% of CIOs also referenced cost as a major concern  The launch of the iPad Mini may help, but tablet costs also include mobile-device management, expanded e-mail capacity, and help-desk support. These costs typically total $150 to $250 annually per device.

McKinsey suggests businesses adopt a “tiered approach that focuses application investment on the user segments and use cases that create the most value, while providing only basic services to the broader user population.”

For governance, the other issue of concern, the study urges “a flexible strategy that can be adjusted regularly to adapt to changes in the mobility landscape, for example, the introduction of Windows-based tablets. Addressing these challenges requires an active, cross-functional governance structure.”



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