Unless a greater emphasis is placed on mobility, British businesses risk being outmaneuvered by those in emerging nations like China, India and Brazil, according to new research.
The findings of the study, which were released today by Citrix, reveal that the UK is struggling to contend with legacy systems, business app use and multiple mobile platforms.
According to the study, just over half (51%) of UK businesses thought that having mobility as an initiative would give them a competitive advantage, considerably lower than the global average (62%) and well below China (93%), India (85%) and Brazil (78%).
In fact, of the 17 countries polled by Vanson Bourne in September, only Taiwan (34%), Denmark (41%), and South Korea (45%) ranked lower than the UK when it came to realising the competitive advantage enabled by mobile initiatives, such as BYOD policies.
Mobility not a UK priority
Commissioned by Citrix to investigate business mobility strategies worldwide, the ‘Mobility in Business’ report polled a total of 1,700 senior IT decision-makers across the globe.
It found that while 48% of UK businesses had already established a formal mobile strategy – in line with the global average of 47% – only 25% believed that mobility should be a top business priority, much lower than the global average of 45%.
“Technology has always been a differentiator for business, but never more so than in the last few years,” said James Stevenson, area vice president, Northern Europe at Citrix.
“With organisations looking to make headway despite difficult market conditions, more are turning to mobility to secure a competitive advantage – a fact borne out of this report. In particular, an increasing number of businesses are looking to exploit mobile technology to improve flexibility, productivity and agility.”
However, he added, the playing field isn’t level and high growth economies like Brazil, India and China are ‘clearly moving’ to capitalise on the potential of mobile, leaving more-developed economies at risk of being left behind.
>See also: UK workers lack BYOD guidance, ICO finds
UK-specific barriers to mobility
When asked about the number of barriers faced in supporting mobile initiatives, most UK businesses said three, which was more than the global average. 53% said legacy systems were not suitable for mobile purposes, considerably higher than the global average of 37%.
UK businesses also expressed significant concern at the thought of people using apps on mobile devices, once again more than the global average. While only 46% of businesses worldwide were concerned about maintaining data privacy mandates, this figure raised to 61% in the UK
“The concerns felt by UK businesses are indicative of a shift in power between the employer and the employee,” Stevenson said. “Workers are driving change in how IT is being used in the workplace.
“They want the freedom to choose the apps, devices and productivity tools they feel the best to help them do their daily role. Yet businesses want to seize this power from the end user to ensure that mobile initiatives are properly managed and controlled.”