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Some CEOs, enterprises missing the boat on mobile technology: SOTI study


July 7, 2017   by Canadian Underwriter


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Efforts to manage mobile transformation continues to be a struggle for some interviewed enterprises, with almost a third reporting they are not investing in mobile technology, notes a new study released Thursday by SOTI Inc.

Commissioned by SOTI and conducted by Arlington Research, the study is based on interviews conducted using an online methodology amongst a globally representative sample of 1,300 individuals in organizations with 50-plus employees.

It found that 31% of business is failing to invest in mobile technology to stand out from the competition.

Also worrisome is that 49% of employees report feeling mobility downtime seriously hinders their ability to work, 18% of organizations suffer outages for extended periods of time, and 49% of CEOs seem to only care about business mobility when such downtime occurs.

Respondents from front-line management to executives – 200 each in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom and the United States, and 100 in Sweden – use a smart device for work purposes, and have used it when working remotely at least once during the last month.

CEOs are at risk of their businesses becoming obsolete by failing to embrace mobile innovation, Carl Rodrigues, SOTI’s CEO and founder, cautions in a statement from the provider of mobile and IoT device management solutions.

Related: 8.4 billion “connected things” will be in use in 2017, up 31% from 2016: Gartner

“As the future becomes increasingly mobile, devices and tools are being embedded with software, sensors and connectivity at a rapid pace. All around the world organizations prepare to take greater advantage of mobile technology, but there are numerous challenges they need to overcome,” Rodrigues points out.

“This research makes it clear that mobile and ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) device management is essential to global business,” Ray Carby, vice president of research and development for SOTI, writes in the study’s forward. “Everything that can be connected will be connected. By 2020, there will be 30 billion IoT devices in play; that is 10 times global smartphone penetration achieved in half the time,” Carby notes.

Related: Global Internet of Things market expected to grow to US$561 billion by 2022: report

In all, 81% of respondents say IoT will have a direct impact upon their organization, rising to 91% among business owners and 89% among senior managers. Two in five (41%) say they believe it will be critical, rising to as high as 71% among those tasked with defining business strategy, the study report states.

With the growth of connected devices, apps, clearly, will be part of the work landscape and demand support and investment.

SOTI maintains that investing in apps and devices is critical for success and to keep pace with the competition. Study results indicate 69% of interviewed workers globally say their organization is investing in mobile devices and apps.

In addition, half of respondents have more than five work apps on their work devices and 22% have more than 10.

That said, “many organizations are using mobility for the basics, but do not know how to implement the next level of mobile integration to transform their workforce,” says Rodrigues. “This has left businesses with a piecemeal approach to their mobile operations – a disconnected set of point solutions required to perform business critical operations,” he suggests.

In all, 45% of respondent employees report that although their organization had the ability to block unsanctioned apps, they chose not to enforce it. As well, 24% of respondents say their organization had no strict rules about downloading unsanctioned apps onto work devices.

“The U.K. market proved to have the highest awareness of the proportion, with 48% of employees stating their organization blocks unsanctioned apps,” SOTI reports. “The lowest proportion was recorded among Swedish remote workers at 23%.”

Other survey findings include the following:

  • 70% of CEOs within transportation and logistics companies fail to grasp the importance of rugged hand-held devices in the field, despite the pivotal role they play in service delivery;
  • 60% of remote workers say they feel IoT is not critical to business success;
  • 29% of employees report they are worried they may lose their jobs if something goes wrong with the device they are using;
  • 54% note they worry loss of precious information will impact negatively on their customer relationships;
  • 82% of respondents have used work-issued devices them for remote working in the past week;
  • 49% of respondents believe it would be either impossible (21%) or seriously challenging (28%) to complete work without their mobile devices; and
  • 92% say they would find it disruptive at some level to be without their work devices.

“Ignoring the endless possibilities innovation brings could prove disastrous for organizations who fail to jump on board,” Rodrigues contends. “Leaders must act now to stay ahead of the pace of change, or risk finding their business adrift while the competition rides the wave of the mobility tsunami,” he adds.

Related: 35% of top global insurers have appointed a chief digital officer to oversee business transformation: PwC’s Strategy&

“By 2020, those enterprise devices connected to a myriad of new machine interfaces by a web of specialist industrial networks and gigabit-per-second data super-highways, will acquire new super powers,” Carby notes.

“For businesses of all sizes, these powers will provide platforms to excel in differentiated customer experiences; disrupt existing markets with innovative technology; obtain exceptional insights about customers; and enable business-critical workflows to improve service and operations,” he adds.

States the report, “Any size organization can benefit by connecting mobile and IoT devices to business processes – but, if a strategy is not in place, companies will find themselves throwing endless resources into connecting everything to the internet, rather than just those devices that are critical to their business.”