Mobility in the workplace: Caution is ok, but don't resist it


Last year I wrote a report on designing mobile apps for business. One of the themes in the report was the unavoidable relationship between an organisation's mobile architecture and the kinds of mobile apps that might be possible. However, ignoring demand from end-users wasn't an option.

A year later (I started researching the report about this time) its interesting to see the observations in Symantec's 2013 State of Mobility Survey that identify 2 broad types of organisation: Innovators and Traditionals.

"The two groups perceive the benefits and risks of mobility differently. Among innovators, 66 percent say the benefits are worth the risks, while 74 percent of traditional businesses feel the risks are not worth it. This is reflected in the rate of mobility adoption, with 50 percent more employees using smartphones for business among innovators than among traditional organizations. More than half of innovators (55 percent) are also taking control of purchasing phones for employees, compared to 44 percent of traditionals."

While the innovators do experience more issues - like lost devices and data breaches - overall the benefits are greater.

Quoted in CIO magazine:

"Being cautious about mobility is OK," [Brian Duckering from Symantec] says. "Being resistant is not. End users are actually quite resourceful. If you tell them no, they can actually be pretty clever in finding ways to get around that."

Symantec's advice is to start with the apps that offer the greatest productivity benefits and learn from that experience. If you need help working out that business case, see one of the diagrams from my report, Building the business case for workforce mobile apps.