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Two types of organisations emerged from Symantec’s recent 2013 State of Mobility Survey: ‚”Innovators‚” who readily embrace mobility, and ‚”Traditionals‚” who are still uncertain and reluctant to implement it.

Globally, 84 percent of innovators are moving ahead with mobility as it’s motivated by business drivers, and they are experiencing significant benefits. Traditional organisations are implementing mobility more slowly, largely in response to user demand, and are seeing both fewer costs and benefits. In South African enterprises, 76 percent considered business drivers to be important, while 75 percent felt that user demand was important.

‚”Few issues command the attention of IT today like mobility,‚” said Gordon Love, Symantec’s Regional Director for Africa. ‚”The difference in attitudes and results between the organisations that actively embrace mobility and those that are reluctant is significant. Organisations taking a proactive approach benefit much more than those that put it off until they eventually find themselves trying to catch up to the competition.‚”

The two groups perceive the benefits and risks of mobility differently. Among innovators, two-thirds say the benefits of mobility outweigh the risks, but three-quarters of the traditionals feel that the reverse is true. 64 percent of enterprise organisations in South Africa consider the risks to be worth the opportunity. This is reflected in the rate of mobility adoption, with enterprises in South Africa purchasing 51 percent of employee phones. Globally, 55 percent of innovators purchase phones for employees versus the 44 percent of traditionals that do the same.

When it comes to the innovators, company involvement doesn’t stop with purchasing the phones. They often have mobility policies, with 63 percent of enterprises in South Africa using technology to enforce mobile policies. Globally, the innovators are also nearly twice as likely to enforce mobile policies using technology (60 percent vs. 33 percent), whereas most traditionals either handle management manually or don’t do it at all. Innovators are also more likely to use mobile devices for running business apps. Globally, 83 percent are discussing deploying private app stores for employees with 51 percent of South African enterprises discussing private app stores.

Costs and Benefits

With the innovators taking more advantage of mobility, they are also seeing more costs associated with it. Globally, they averaged twice as many mobile incidents during the last year, such as lost devices and data breaches leading to consequences such as regulatory fines and lost revenue. In South African enterprises, there was a median of 94 mobility related incidents last year. However, the costs of mobility aren’t deterring the innovators because they are more than making up for them in a variety of ways. The innovators are experiencing far more benefits in the following three key areas:

· Increased productivity, speed and agility

· Improvements in brand value, customer happiness and overall competitiveness

· Happier employees and improved recruiting and retention rates

South African enterprises are currently experiencing 32 percent higher revenue growth, whereas global innovators are experiencing nearly 50 percent higher revenue growth than traditionals (44 percent vs. 30 percent). All things considered, businesses perceive net positive results with mobility.

Effective Mobile Implementation

The survey results illustrate the positive impact mobility can have on the business, with the right preparation. The following guidelines can help organisations make the most of their mobile deployment while reducing risks:

· Being cautious about mobility is okay. Being resistant is not. Start embracing it. Organisations should take a proactive approach and carefully plan an effective mobile implementation strategy.

· Start with the apps with greatest productivity benefits for employees. One of the best ways to get started with mobility is to implement mobile apps that will have an immediate impact on the business.

· Learn from the innovators get the benefits while minimizing the risks. The key is to be aware of the risks associated with mobility such as information loss, and to follow the example of the innovators.

Symantec’s 2013 State of Mobility Survey

Symantec’s 2013 State of Mobility Survey looks at how best to integrate mobility and balance the risks to achieve benefits and represents the experiences of 3,236 businesses, from 29 countries. Respondents were the individuals in charge of computing either senior staff in the case of enterprises, or often an employee with technical aptitude among SMBs. Responses came from companies with a range of five to more than 5,000 employees.

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