Mobilizing Smartphones is a Challenge

Mobilizing Smartphones is a very difficult job according to  CIOs

Mobilizing applications for employees to use on their Smartphones sure sounds like a fun idea. Employees would actually be thankful for having such a cool IT department, a forward-thinking team on the cutting-edge of consumer tech helping them become more productive outside the office.

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But mobilizing applications isn’t easy or fun at all. That fact is the key finding of a survey of 300 CIOs and IT decision makers.

It may not be easy, but perhaps mobilizing applications is just a matter of time. Nine out of 10 respondents said they have either taken steps to develop applications for mobile use or are planning to do so in the near future.

In Interviews with 121 CIOs Janco Associates has found that infrastructure in many IT organizations is hindering the move to new techologies including disaster recovery, security, BYOD and Cloud based computing.

Janco’s says, “Infrastrucuire that is frozen in time makes it difficult to implement new techonlogy in over two thirds of all organizations…

Major roadblocks have kept CIOs from mobilizing applications. The average company has 400 custom and packed applications, but only 22 percent of enterprise applications can be accessed from mobile devices.

Surprisingly, 53 percent of enterprise applications are Web-based, so you’d think they’d be easy to mobilize. So what’s putting the brakes on the mobile movement?

The biggest barrier is mobile development costs, say 65 percent of CIOs. The cost of re-engineering enterprise applications as mobile applications is high because of the ballooning platform fragmentation of the market, particularly the many flavors of the Android operating system.

CIOs and IT developers say it is difficult to rework desktop applications traditionally viewed on a large monitor and used with a mouse and keyboard to run on a touch-based mobile device. And then there’s the problem of finding talented mobile application developers to create native mobile applications. Nearly half of respondents who had developed a native application said they would have reservations about doing it again because of time, cost and complexity.

Other road blocks to enterprise app mobilization: 63 percent cited security concerns and 48 percent worried about increased cost of support and maintenance.

That’s not to say these roadblocks are insurmountable. CIOs will eventually find ways around them, as mobility’s benefits drive adoption. In the survey, 36 percent of respondents say they expect an increase in productivity if critical enterprise applications were mobilized.

Author: John Stamms

IT Manager from a company in the EU. Very interested in how people in the US manage the IT function and all of its associated issues.