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Mobility builds BRIC business

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Mobility in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries is now a top priority for businesses and a prime factor in maintaining a competitive advantage, writes MICHAEL CHURCH.

Showing rapid growth for bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and consumerisation, a recent Citrix-commissioned report provides a nuanced look at several key trends and concerns around enterprise mobility today across the BRIC countries.

The topline findings of the Citrix Mobility in Business Report paint a clear picture of the importance of mobility for business: 48 percent of the enterprises which operate in the BRIC countries believe mobility is a top priority for their business and 70 percent believe it to be the greatest factor in helping their organisation gain a competitive advantage. The rapid embrace of solutions to support enterprise mobility also comes through loud and clear, including adoption of mobile device management (MDM),implemented by 60 per cent of those surveyed, mobile application management (MAM) – 58 per cent of respondents, application virtualisation (48 per cent), desktop virtualisation (44 per cent) and file sharing, sync and storage (48 per cent).

For IT, top mobility initiatives include mobile app development and broader adoption of secure file sharing and collaboration tools. Organisations in the BRIC countries are also working to improve network performance and access, and 60 per cent are changing management processes to better manage those working on any device from anywhere.

To better understand the full value of their investments, businesses are working to measure the impact of mobility on productivity and employee motivation, as people are given more freedom to work wherever, whenever and on whichever device best suits their needs and preferences.

The results of a study examining the impact of micro-economic mobility in South Africa the movement of information, goods and people – underlines the potential that enterprise mobility could bring to businesses. Commissioned by Citrix and conducted by Dr Adrian Saville, the findings of the research, launched last year, indicated that a 5% increase in the movement of people, information and knowledge would increase GDP by 40%, supporting the argument in the BRIC countries that enterprise mobility should be a top priority.

BYOD is becoming the rule—not the exception

Eighty-one percent of the BRIC companies surveyed already allow, accommodate and encourage the use of personally owned devices. This practice has brought a flood of consumer laptops, tablets and smartphones into the enterprise. Of those organisations embracing BYOD, 75 per cent estimate that more than 100 unidentified devices access their networks each day.

More than just a trend, BYOD is becoming a fact of life for IT, making it essential to be able to support users on any device without sacrificing security, manageability or application functionality.

Mobility comes in many flavors

While the Android platform is by far the most popular mobile platform, supported by 82 per cent of BRIC organisations now or in the near future, it’s far from the whole picture. Fifty-five per cent of organisations support or plan to support Apple iOS, 65 per cent will support Microsoft Windows 8 on mobile by the end of this year, and other Windows mobile operating systems figure into the mobility strategies of 43 per cent of respondents. BlackBerry remains in widespread use, supported by 26 per cent of companies and actually growing in 20 per cent of them since last year.

Consumerisation encompasses apps as well as devices

People aren’t just bringing their own devices to work‚Äîthey’re also bringing their own apps. Twenty-seven per cent of the BRIC workforce is now believed to be using their own mobile apps for work, most often using sales, CRM or database-related apps. Employee intranet portals, messaging applications, social media platforms, and file sync and sharing platforms are popular choices as well. IT is also finding packaged mobile apps highly useful, with 64 per cent of organisations planning to deploy off-the-shelf mobile apps alongside those that are developed in-house, while another 22 per cent plan to rely solely on off-the-shelf purchases for mobile apps.

Challenges remain—but solutions are at hand

Companies surveyed cited an average of three main barriers preventing formal support for mobility initiatives, the most common being a lack of security controls for new devices and clients (36 percent), legacy systems unfit for mobile purposes (36 percent) and challenges supporting multiple mobile operating systems (36 percent).

The bottom line is – mobility is happening now, it’s happening fast and it’s delivering exceptional value for the organisations that know how to do it right. Don’t miss out!

* Michael Church is the enterprise manager at Citrix South Africa.

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