Most Companies Would Switch Mobile Operators for Device Management Help

November 13, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

B2B | Europe & Middle East | Technology

CIOs, faced with a growing mobile workforce, a range of feature-rich phones, and demand for enterprise application mobility, are looking to their mobile operator partners to help manage mobile devices, just as other IT assets are managed.

Some 45% of CIOs from top 500 enterprises surveyed said they are looking to mobile operators for such assistance, according to an Mformation Technologies survey conducted by Coleman Parkes (via

Moreover, 62% of US CIOs said they would change their mobile operator if they were offered a comprehensive mobile device management (MDM) solution by a competing mobile operator.

Key research findings:

  • Some 82% of US CIOs report that managing mobile devices has become increasingly difficult.
  • Almost all CIOs surveyed (95%) are currently looking for a solution for managing and securing enterprise mobile devices and applications.
  • The vast majority of US companies (88%) expect the operator to have a role in enterprise mobile device management.
  • Nearly, 60% US companies indicate that they would prefer an arrangement with their operator that gives the IT department direct control over their mobile assets.
  • Not surprisingly, then, 62% of US companies indicate they would consider switching to a new mobile operator if they offered MDM as a managed service.

“Clearly, very real opportunities exist for mobile operators to provide value-added device management services for enterprise customers, increasing their competitive advantage,” said Matt Bancroft, CMO of Mformation.

With most CIOs preferring that their IT departments directly control the devices, with some support from the operator, there is “a significant opportunity for operators to help enterprises with the challenges and complexities associated with mobile device management,” Bancroft said.

More findings from the study:

  • Companies are already taking action to address some of the issues created by growing mobile device usage:
    • 74% of US companies said they have increased investment in data and system security.
    • 71% said they have increased investment in staff training.
    • 66% have increased their investment in monitoring and security systems.
  • A critical device management concern among enterprises is the ability to provide a high degree of device and network security.
  • Other key concerns are the ability to remotely support users, so that device problems are quickly identified and fixed, technology is kept updated and future-proof, and support costs are kept under control.
  • 60% of US enterprises surveyed did not have any positive opinion of current operator device management support.

“From a revenue perspective, enterprise customers are immensely important to operators. However, their needs are significantly different from those of consumers. Enterprises are looking for far more advanced device and application management services; they need the same levels of security and control as they have over other IT assets such as laptops and PCs. If mobile operators can’t meet these needs, they risk losing their most profitable customers,” concluded Bancroft.

About the study: To determine how CIOs feel about their operators’ role in helping to manage mobile devices and the sensitive corporate data on them, Mformation Technologies sponsored a survey conducted by Coleman Parkes. The firm conducted 200 detailed interviews with CIOs and telecommunications directors of top 500 enterprises divided across the US and Europe (UK, Germany, and Spain).

Related story:

Mobility Solutions Not a High Priority for Enterprises


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