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Enterprise Mobility Is Back In The Hot Seat

Businesses Are Looking At Mobility Once Again With Opportunistic Eyes

The communications environment is transforming so quickly that companies need to either think several steps ahead or risk being surpassed by some unforeseen trend. In the past, organizations believed every aspect of collaboration would be completed through face-to-face interactions or the office phone system. Now that the consumerization of IT has emerged and introduced tectonic shifts in the way people think about where and how they can communicate, decision-makers are taking a second look at mobility.

Enterprises are putting mobility back at the top of their needs list as executives realize the potential financial and operational boons that are often associated with effective initiatives. This trend was highlighted in a recent Citrix study of 1,700 senior IT decision-makers around the world, which found that 71 percent of respondents have placed mobile endeavors as a primary priority. More specifically, 63 percent of business leaders believe enterprise mobile programs are the biggest contributor to their firm's ability to stay competitive.

The business phone system no longer consists of several hardline desk phones. Instead, bring your own device (BYOD) is quickly becoming the norm in the enterprise, as 71 percent of organizations around the world either allow or accommodate employees who choose to utilize personal smartphones, tablets and other gadgets in the workplace. Within these companies, approximately 76 percent of decision-makers said they have an average of more than 100 unidentified devices access critical applications and information every day.

The Challenges of Mobility

Despite the benefits of implementing enterprise mobile strategies, companies are still facing some significant obstacles that bar their way to success. Citrix found that security is the top concern, as 38 percent of decision-makers said they do not have the proper controls needed to keep mission-critical information and applications from being exposed. This is largely due to the fact that individuals will often deploy mobile devices in the workplace with or without permission, which can increase the difficulty of launching uniform management practices.

Citrix also found that 37 percent of executives said many of their legacy phone system features are not necessarily adequate for the mobile environment, while 36 percent said juggling multiple operating systems can be difficult in a large workplace. This suggests that companies need to plan ahead and embrace next-generation solutions and strategies that make it easier to adopt mobility without complications. If organizations only allow a certain type of device, for example, they can eliminate the challenge of maintaining multiple operating systems. However, this may also mean that enterprises must provide gadgets to employees who don't use that particular platform, which can be expensive.

While these challenges may seem monumental at first, innovative thinking can eliminate the need to worry about such problems and allow companies to experience the real benefits of mobility.

The Power of the Mobile Landscape

Although there are a number of advantages associated with embracing enterprise mobility, the opportunity to support a remote workforce without worrying about connectivity is among the biggest. Citrix found that the top mobile initiatives in the business world are to increase the development of mobile-enabled applications and improve the ability to securely share confidential information. Currently, analysts believe that roughly 29 percent of individuals around the world use personal mobile solutions for work-related purposes.

A separate Gartner report also highlighted the proliferation of BYOD, forecasting that it will eventually become mandatory. Analysts asserted that approximately 38 percent of companies will stop providing employees with devices in 2016, as the idea that workers can use their own personal gadgets becomes so common.

"BYOD strategies are the most radical change to the economics and the culture of client computing in business in decades The benefits of BYOD include creating new mobile workforce opportunities, increasing employee satisfaction, and reducing or avoiding costs," said David Willis, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.

Analysts highlighted how the BYOD phenomenon has been impacting the corporate environment for some time, though it is just now beginning to flourish as the idea of using mobile applications for business purposes becomes more widely accepted. Now that individuals demand the ability to complete company tasks from home and outside of the office, organizations can embrace mobility to improve productivity and employee satisfaction at the same time.

As smartphones, tablets and other devices continue to evolve and grow more sophisticated with business processes in mind, decision-makers are considering the return on investment associated with embarking on a mobile quest. In most cases, the adoption of BYOD and other enterprise mobile strategies will introduce enough opportunities and benefits that companies of all sizes and industries will participate, as failing to embrace the mobile landscape will not only make it difficult to compete with rival firms, but also will make it harder to retain a strong and motivated workforce.