IT Challenged by Pace of Mobile Device Adoption

December 20, 2012 in iAnnouncements (E)

[] Sunnyvale, California - IT managers, constrained by fixed headcounts, believe that the challenge of security is the most important issue for enterprises whose employees are using mobile devices according to a November survey conducted by the Enterprise Device Alliance (EDA). At the same time, selection and deployment of security solutions has fallen short of their own expectations perhaps due to staff limitations or the rapid pace of change in the marketplace.

Compared to the same survey conducted last year, the respondents seemed more aware and even more concerned about the security implications of adopting mobile devices. For instance, "devices don't meet our security standards" (65%) replaced "devices are too easy to steal/lose" (59%) as the number one reason that limits organizations' willingness to support employees using a mobile device.

The security concerns had several implications for the Administrators. First, more than 40% of the organizations are constraining the use of mobile devices because of the difficulty of making them compliant with government and industry regulations. Second, 64% of IT administrators (up from 56% in 2011) believe the use of consumer solutions such as Dropbox or Gmail for work activities compromises security. Consumer solutions are losing their acceptability, so organizations are looking for secure enterprise-managed alternative solutions.

The Impact of BYOD:
Compounding the security issue is the pervasiveness of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies that allow employees to use their own smartphone or tablet. This year, 86% of the respondents said that their organization allows some degree of BYOD, up from 75% a year ago. The survey revealed that even among the largest organizations, those with more than 10,000 employees, more than four fifths (81%) allowed some employees to bring their own devices and that IT would support them to some degree. Allowing BYOD adds the complication of separating, isolating and securing company information, access, and applications from personal information and applications.

"Enterprise IT has stepped up to the onslaught of mobile device deployments in 2012. However, our survey reveals that many IT organizations are still not adding staff to manage mobile devices and are slow to invest in tools to help with the challenge. This could cost companies competitiveness and delay solutions that reduce security risks," said T. Reid Lewis, president of the Enterprise Device Alliance and co-founder of GroupLogic, an Acronis company. "The Enterprise Device Alliance conducted the survey to help IT professionals make the best choices for their organizations by arming them with an aggregate view of the plans of their peers. We also provide examples of solutions to some of these issues that are proven in the marketplace."

How they are managing now:
The respondents report that they expect increases in demand for new hardware, software, end user applications, help desk support and related technology and service demands, but very few expect any additional staffing. They also anticipate that they will need to learn more management tools specific to mobile devices. The IT professionals responding to the survey appear to be as conscientious as their respective organizations allow. A particularly telling response: 20% said that users are using consumer solutions: "It's not really acceptable, but we don't have an alternative."

Currently these IT professionals are trying everything they can to manage smartphones and tablets, including BYOD devices. First they are applying technology: the most commonly used management application is Exchange ActiveSync. However 68% use two or more management utilities, with some using as many as six. In 2011, only 16% of organizations with more than 500 employees reported using Mobile Device Management solutions. The 2011 respondents expected the number of organizations using MDM users to more than triple to 50% by the end of 2012. However it has peaked at 38% so far, with another 22% planning to add MDM in 2013.

Second they are establishing standard configurations: in 2011 55% reported that they provide a standard configuration for mobile devices; in 2012 73% provide some standard configuration. The standard configuration most often includes mail support (57%), a custom address book (25%) and a Mobile Device Management (MDM) client (38%.

Other noteworthy findings of the survey include:
* 70% of the organizations expect to have completed their pilot testing of tablets and moved to production deployment by the end of next compared to 55% last year
* More than 70% are using (or want to use) Microsoft Active Directory for authentication

About the survey:
This second annual survey sought to learn the impact of smartphones and tablets on large organizations and the IT administrators who are tasked to manage and support them. The online survey was conducted from November 16 to October December 8, 2012. Respondents are in commercial, government and educational organizations with more than 100 employees. More than 70% of the respondents were from organizations with more than 500 employees. A complete report (PDF) of the findings and an on-demand webinar analyzing the survey results are available at Enterprise Device Alliance online.

Enterprise Device Alliance members comment on the implications of the survey data:

"The 2012 EDA survey data shows that 64% of IT staffers in enterprise IT view consumer solutions like Dropbox(TM) as security risks, and they need secure, enterprise-ready alternatives," said T. Reid Lewis, co-founder of GroupLogic, an Acronis Company. "Our mobilEcho 'mobile file management (MFM)' solution provides an easy to use, secure, and centrally managed alternative to consumer solutions such as Dropbox."

"The growing popularity among employees for Mac and mobile devices is requiring organizations to support and manage additional platforms in their environment," said Frank Cabri, Centrify vice president of marketing. "The majority of the surveyed organizations said they want to utilize Microsoft Active Directory to manage their mobile devices. They understand that it make sense to leverage that same infrastructure to easily and cost-effectively centralize administration and management of all users, Macs and other devices, and to give end users Active Directory-based single sign-on (SSO) from their mobile devices to SaaS apps and other cloud resources."

Absolute Software:
"The results of the EDA survey reflect the reality faced by most of our customers. Tablets and other ultra-portable devices are definitely entering business deployments, either as corporate- and/or employee-owned devices. And the number one concern on the part of IT is how to adequately secure these form factors and the corporate data they may access and contain," said Peter Frankl, vice president for Lifecycle Management at Absolute Software. "The most surprising result is the rapid rate of growth. This exceeded our expectations and only emphasizes the need for IT to act now."

The Enterprise Device Alliance is a non-profit technology group that serves as a resource for organizations deploying, integrating, and managing Macs, iPhones and iPads in Windows-managed environments. The EDA delivers free information, market data, and access to solutions that support heterogeneous environments. The EDA member companies are leading technology solution providers for cross-platform enterprises. Members of the Enterprise Device Alliance include Web Help Desk, GroupLogic, Parallels, Code 42 Software, Centrify and Absolute Software. Copyright (C) 2012 The Enterprise Device Alliance. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod, iPad and Macintosh are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.


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