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SDN Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, Peter Dyer, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Trevor Parsons

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SOA & WOA: Article

Symantec Mobility Survey: Good Things Come to Those Who Don’t Wait

Innovators seeing higher revenue and profit growth, competitive advantages, positive brand impact and happier customers

Two distinct types of organizations emerge from Symantec Corp's. recent 2013 State of Mobility Survey - "Innovators" who readily embrace mobility and "Traditionals" who are reluctant to implement it. Eighty four percent of innovators are moving ahead with mobility, motivated by business drivers, and they are experiencing significant benefits. Traditional organizations are implementing mobility more slowly, largely in response to user demand, and are seeing both fewer costs and benefits.

"Few issues command the attention of IT today like mobility," said Francis deSouza, president, Products and Services, Symantec. "The difference in attitudes and results between the organizations that actively embrace mobility and those that are reluctant is significant. Organizations 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, 66 percent say the benefits are worth the risks, while 74 percent of traditional businesses feel the risks are not worth it. This is reflected in the rate of mobility adoption, with 50 percent more employees using smartphones for business among innovators than among traditional organizations. More than half of innovators (55 percent) are also taking control of purchasing phones for employees, compared to 44 percent of traditionals.

When it comes to the innovators, company involvement doesn't stop with purchasing the phones. They also more often have mobility policies, and they are twice as likely to use technology to enforce their policies (60 percent in the innovators as opposed to 33 percent among traditionals).

Costs and Benefits
With the innovators taking more advantage of mobility, they are also seeing more costs associated with it. In fact, 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. The innovators are also experiencing far more benefits, in 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

Most importantly, however, the 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 organizations make the most of their mobile deployment while reducing risks:

  • Being cautious about mobility is okay. Being resistant is not. Start embracing it. Organizations 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 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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