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June 5, 2012

Majority of organisations offer corporate-liable smartphones to staff

IDC calls for IT executives to determine costs related to developing and supporting multiple mobile platforms, and apply a governance strategy to mobile application development efforts

By CBR Staff Writer

About 77% of organisations provided corporate-liable smartphones to their employees and 49% offered tablets in 2011, according to a survey by International Data Corporation (IDC).

Of these corporate-liable devices, 70% were procured by the organisation for issuing them to the employees while only 7% were purchased by the employee with full or partial reimbursement.

Surveying CIOs and IT professionals in the US and Europe, the study is aimed at offering IT firms with insight into how their peers have addressed similar mobility issues.

In sales, IT, executive and marketing job functions, staff are more often issued a smartphone over other functions within an organisation.

IDC IT Executive & Industry Research senior vice president Meredith Whalen said many IT organisations are currently working through their mobile device strategy and policy issues.

"To be successful, IDC recommends that IT executives establish a governance committee including finance, HR, and Legal to outline a comprehensive Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategy, including use policies and cost allocation methods," he added.

"Most importantly, we recommend IT executives identify the costs associated with developing and supporting multiple mobile platforms, and apply a governance strategy to mobile application development efforts to ensure projects are prioritized based on the highest value add to the enterprise."

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For corporate-liable smartphones, nearly 73% of companies pay the entire mobile service bill for voice and data directly to the mobile service provider, while 71% meet the entire mobile service plan for corporate-liable tablets.

The survey showed 45% of the respondents provide limited IT help desk support for business applications on individual-liable smartphones in order to mitigate risk and support costs of letting employees bring their own devices, while 42% do so for business applications on individual-liable tablets.

In both cases, hardware issues are relayed back to the mobile service provider.

In 33% of the organisations surveyed, no support is provided for individual-liable smartphones and 44% of respondents reported no support for individual-liable tablets.

The report revealed that majority respondents expect tablets will be a second device to the laptop/desktop, and refreshed every 2.5 years, which will be costly for IT organizations in the long run.

IDC estimates it will cost the average large organisation an additional 1% of their IT budget every year just to refresh the tablets alone.

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