IT Managers Feel the Pressure of Managing Mobile

Wednesday Mar 15th 2017 by Pedro Hernandez
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A recent survey from Tangoe and ORC International finds that most IT managers are not only in charge of keeping their mobile users and data safe, they're going it alone.

By now, smartphones and tablets are familiar sights in the workplace. Yet, not all IT departments have successfully adapted to the new status quo, suggests a study from Tangoe.

The mobile expense management company found in a survey of 100 IT managers, conducted by ORC International, that most respondents (73 percent) are in charge of managing their organizations' mobile devices. In many organizations, it's a responsibility that isn't shared.

"More than half of those surveyed who oversee and manage mobile devices as part of their job responsibilities said they do their jobs completely by themselves." wrote Craig Riegelhaupt, Director of Product Marketing for Mobile Solutions at Tangoe, in a blog post. "And what is more surprising is that very few use third-party Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) or Managed Mobility Solutions (MMS) vendors, although many said they hope to within the next two years."

More than half of IT managers admitted that they're the sole overseers of their businesses' mobility programs. The burden is compounded by the fact that most of them (85 percent) are also on the hook for securing mobile data.

Adding to the pressure of managing mobile users is the seemingly endless parade of breach-of-the-week stories.

"With the headline-grabbing data and security scares, it's no wonder that security is keeping IT managers awake at night with 65 percent acknowledging that it remains the most challenging aspect of their jobs with respect to their management of mobile needs, and 55 percent seeing security as the biggest mobile challenge facing their organizations in the future," stated Riegelhaupt.

Other challenges include keeping costs in check (43 percent) and managing a variety of mobile platforms and devices (42 percent), the study revealed. Many IT managers are also struggling with outdated mobile policies (26 percent) while nearly a quarter (24 percent) have their policies under review. Relatively few IT managers (13 percent) consider their organizations policies "state of the art," Tangoe said.

On the plus side, spending on mobile is rising. On average, 26 percent of IT budgets are earmarked for enterprise mobility programs, a figure that has risen in recent years for a majority of respondents (80 percent).

Practically all IT managers (96 percent) expect to implement new mobile management services in two years, and most of them (70 percent) plan to roll them out within the next 12 months. Among the most sought after capabilities are application and security management (59 percent).

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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