When it comes to using personal mobile devices at work, employees are becoming ever-more demanding; and most companies are apparently rethinking their mobile policies.

Company Employees Driving ‘Disruptive’ Mobile Revolution

In response to increasing demand from their employees, many companies are now fast-tracking policy changes in order to support the use of employees’ personal devices at work. According to the latest survey by global management consulting firm McKinsey among 250 Chief Information Officers, 56% of respondents reported strong demand from employees to support a wide range of mobile devices. As many as 77% of the CIOs were planning to allow staff to use personal mobile devices to access company data and applications.  Mobile device innovations are “being introduced at a frenetic pace (…) and with each innovation comes a new set of uses and opportunities,” underlines the McKinsey report. Some 30% of the CIOs surveyed said laptop computers were likely to be replaced by tablets in the coming years.

Improving business performance

The survey also highlights that fact that mobility can benefit business in several ways: first, by enhancing employee-to-employee communication, with greater access to e-mail and calendars, plus opportunities of having spontaneous mobile videoconferences. Secondly, mobile fosters out-of-office productivity when employees are allowed remote access to company content and applications. Thirdly, smart sensors can be used to automate or control processes and systems, making them more efficient, and can thus “spark novel business models.” And mobile IT isn’t just good for productivity. By increasing the number and depth of the points of contact, mobility innovations “can allow businesses to engage their customers in fundamentally new ways,” stresses McKinsey.


Three major challenges

Mobility has the potential to greatly improve business performance, but it comes with three major challenges, many CIOs agree. First, data security risk is the primary barrier to broad mobile deployments within the enterprise – some 45%of the CIOs surveyed viewed security as a major challenge. Secondly, mobility is expensive, 41% of the CIOs citing cost as a critical challenge. Thirdly, governance, since mobility “doesn’t clearly fit within any traditional IT silo.” At the same time it demands a flexible strategy where priorities can be changed at regular intervals on the basis of mobility needs, CIOs told the McKinsey researchers.