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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Symantec Survey Reveals Significant Adoption of Enterprise Mobile Apps

Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) announced the Malaysia findings of its 2012 State of Mobility Survey, which revealed a global tipping point in mobility adoption. The survey highlighted an uptake in mobile applications across organisations in Malaysia with 67 percent of enterprises at least discussing deploying custom mobile applications and 26 percent currently implementing or have already implemented custom mobile applications.

Despite this adoption, almost half (44 percent) of survey respondents in Malaysia mentioned that mobility is somewhat to extremely challenging and a further 43 percent of survey respondents identified mobile devices as one of their top three IT risks. Yet in the face of these challenges, IT is striking a balance between mobile benefits and risks by transforming its approach to mobility to deliver improved business agility, increased productivity and workforce effectiveness.

The State of Mobility Survey reveals the challenges organisations are grappling with in accommodating the mobility tipping point and also identifies and quantifies mobility-associated risks as perceived by IT decision makers. In this survey, more than 6,000 organisations from 43 countries, including Malaysia, bring to light the change in the usage of mobile devices and mobile applications.

Mobile Devices Now Critical Business Tools

The significant adoption of mobile applications demonstrates remarkable confidence, by organisations, in the ability for mobility to deliver value. This confidence is further supported by a rare alignment between expectations and reality. Generally, the gains expected from new technologies far exceed the reality upon implementation.

Mobile Initiatives Significantly Impacting IT Resources

As with the adoption of any new technology, mobility is challenging IT organisations. Almost half (44 percent) of respondents in Malaysia mentioned that mobility is somewhat to extremely challenging, while 63 percent noted that reducing the cost and complexity is one of their top business objectives.

Mobility Risks Impacting Organisations

Approximately 51 percent of respondents from Malaysia indicate maintaining a high level of security is a top business objective for mobility and 43 percent identified mobile devices as one of the top three IT risks, making it the leading risk cited by IT.

Recommendations

Organisations that choose to embrace mobility, without compromising on security, are most likely to improve business processes and achieve productivity gains. To this end, organisations should consider developing a mobile strategy that defines the organisation’s mobile culture and aligns with their security risk tolerance.
The following are some key recommendations to improve the effectiveness of mobile initiatives from Symantec:

  • Enable broadly: Mobility offers tremendous opportunities for organisations of all sizes. Explore how you can take advantage of mobility and develop a phased approach to build an ecosystem that supports your plan. To get the most from mobile advances, plan for line-of-business mobile applications that have mainstream use. Employees will use mobile devices for business one way or another – make it on your terms.
  • Think strategically: Build a realistic assessment of the ultimate scale of your mobile business plan and its impact on your infrastructure. Think beyond email. Explore all of the mobile opportunities that can be introduced and understand the risks and threats that need to be mitigated. As you plan, take a cross-functional approach to securing sensitive data no matter where it might end up.
  • Manage efficiently: Mobile devices are legitimate endpoints that require the same attention given to traditional PCs. Many of the processes, policies, education and technologies that are leveraged for desktops and laptops are also applicable to mobile platforms. So the management of mobile devices should be integrated into the overall IT management framework and administered in the same way – ideally using compatible solutions and unified policies. This creates operational efficiencies and lowers the total cost of ownership.
  • Enforce Appropriately: As more employees connect their personal devices to the corporate network, organisations need to modify their acceptable usage policies to accommodate both corporate-owned and personally-owned devices. Management and security levers will need to differ based on ownership of the device and the associated controls that the organisation requires. Employees will continue to add devices to the corporate network to make their jobs more efficient and enjoyable so organisations must plan for this legally, operationally and culturally.
  • Secure comprehensively: Look beyond basic password, wipe and application blocking policies. Focus on the information and where it is viewed, transmitted and stored. Integrating with existing data loss prevention, encryption and authentication policies will ensure consistent corporate and regulatory compliance.

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