Symantec: Mobile adoption has reached tipping point

Adoption of mobile devices has reached a tipping point in the workplace, with most businesses in a recent Symantec survey pondering development of custom applications or already running line-of-business applications on these handheld units.

All told, 71 percent of respondents were discussing custom applications for smartphones and tablets, a survey commissioned by Symantec reveals. The research also found that 59 percent of respondents were running line-of-business applications on mobile devices, and 66 per cent were considering development of corporate app stores for internal application distribution.

Users are moving from just messaging applications on mobile units to line-of-business applications, said Brian Duckering, senior manager with the endpoint management and mobility group at Symantec. “It’s really becoming a core productivity device,” Duckering said. Businesses are evolving from mere acceptance to actual productivity gains. Seventy-three percent found increased efficiency and productivity through mobile devices.

But half of respondents say mobile computing was somewhat to extremely challenging, and security remains a primary concern. “Everyone’s worried about the risks,” Duckering said. Concerns cited included lost or stolen devices, data leakage, unauthorized access, and the spread of malware. A single breach incident on a mobile device costs a theoretical $429,000 for an enterprise, including expenses such as regulatory fines. A breach for small or medium-size business was tabbed at $126,000.

Besides security, other IT priorities pertaining to mobile initiatives include backup, reducing cost, and complexity.

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