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UK bets big on enterprise mobility, but security and privacy concerns remain

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Enterprise mobility adoption is on the upswing in the UK and Europe, but serious concerns linger on security and privacy.

Apple's iPad is popular in enterprise
Apple's iPad is popular in enterprise

A new report from CA Technologies revealed that 95 percent of United Kingdom companies plan to ramp up their enterprise mobility adoption and initiatives over the next year, with 59 percent also looking to change policies and strategies around mobile, the highest penetration figure in Europe.

When speaking to SCMagazineUK.com, CA Technologies technical strategist James Rendall said that mobile is now driving policy and compliance.

“Enterprises are looking to leverage mobile, and enterprise app stores, for business processing, better compliance and enterprise development framework.

“Mobile initiatives will be the way to drive enterprise productivity, and especially compliance,” he said, before adding that the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend has practically become ‘brought-your-own-device'.

The TechInsights Report: Enterprise Mobility–It's All About the Apps  study, which took in the views of 1,300 senior IT decision makers, did however have a cursory tale as far as security and privacy are concerned.

UK most concerned

Approximately 71 percent of UK IT decision makers said that both issues were a big concern, compared to 37percent in the rest of Europe and 28 percent in the US. Internal BYOD figures were also low – at 28 percent - as businesses prioritised customer facing applications.

Rendall couldn't put his finger on the precise reason for this level of concern, and was reticent to apportion any blame to the NSA and GCHQ surveillance – but said that enterprises must endeavour to improve their enterprise mobility management solutions.

“In today's world of mobile apps and BYOD, organisations are under enormous pressure to deliver the right mobility strategy or risk being left behind,” said Rendell.

“Mobile security is crucial. Unless organisations adopt an effective and integrated mobility management solution, the mobile devices quickly become mobile paperweights.” He went on to add that policy is important for driving technological acquisitions.

Ovum analyst Richard Absalom expressed surprise at the findings but had a theory on the low bring-your-own-device penetration.

“Honestly, I'm a bit surprised to see the UK with such high numbers around security and privacy, especially in relation to the rest of Europe where those are normally more prevalent issues,” he said when speaking to SCMagazineUK.com .

“There might be a few explanations for that internal BYOD figure. Ovum's own employee survey data tells us that the percentage of employees using their own devices at work isn't as high in the UK as in more high growth markets – it's somewhere around 40 percent compared to the global average of 57 percent. So enterprise IT might not be getting quite the level of demand you'd think.

“However, 40 percent is still pretty high and it's happening in every business, so I don't think demand is the main issue. More likely, businesses may be rolling out alternative mobility strategies instead such as CYOD (choose your own device) or COPE (corporate owned personally enabled).” 

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