Why so slow? UK businesses take two weeks to get employees mobile-ready

It takes an average of two weeks for IT departments in the UK to equip staff and get them up and running with the mobility tools and applications they need to do their jobs, according to new research by Vanson Bourne commissioned by VMware.

This lack of mobile readiness is impacting both IT departments and employees- Just 12% of IT departments, for example, believe they currently have all the mobile management capabilities to support staff’s mobile needs, while nearly a third (28%) cannot control access to company information from all employee mobile devices.

> See also: 5 myths of enterprise app development in a mobile-first world

Exploring this further, the research questioned both IT and employees on where responsibility should lie for mobile working policies. It found that IT departments across the UK are undecided on the issue; only 40% believe it’s their responsibility to restrict employees’ access to mobile tools and applications outside of working hours, yet 33% feel under pressure to do this and 48% admit that it’s now become necessary.

‘With the pace of business today, taking two weeks to equip staff with the tools they need to work isn’t a viable option for organisations looking to survive and thrive in the mobile cloud era,’ comments Brian Gammage, VMware’s chief market technologiest. ‘Any delay in getting employees functioning at full speed may lead to businesses handing over competitive edge to others. Organisations need to empower employees to collaborate with whoever they require, from any location, at any time, while minimising security risks.’

Employees, meanwhile, are more decided on the issue. Three quarters of UK employees (71%) do not agree that their employer should restrict access to mobile apps and tools.

As it stands, the vast majority (78%) state they do not yet have full access to the mobile tools needed to work as productively as they can, while more than a quarter (27%) would circumvent the IT department to obtain the mobile tools needed to get the job done – demanding greater mobile enablement from the business, rather than further restrictions.

> See also: The great mobile app bottleneck and why it’s damaging your organisation – report

‘The phrase ‘freedom within boundaries’ has never been more appropriate as the explosion of mobile devices and applications disrupts both end-user expectations and functional structures,’ continues Gammage.

‘Organisations cannot afford any ambiguity over who takes charge of mobile applications and tools in the business. Many employees now expect to make the decision of how they work, so the challenge for IT is to cater to this, while also retaining adequate control over how information assets and business processes are used. This must be done centrally, in order to secure data, and not have business best practices compromised in any way.’

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...