Research published by European analyst firm, Quocirca, commissioned by Intellisync Corp. points to a significant development in the European business email market. The report underscores concerns that many European IT decision makers now have doubts about their ability to fully mobilize their workforce utilizing their current enterprise software and applications. The report reveals that in 1 in 3 businesses are concerned that previous investment decisions aren’t future proof.
This comes at a time when more business and public sector organizations are looking to capture the productivity and efficiency benefits of mobile technology. Two-thirds of the companies surveyed are considering or actively planning the broader rollout of mobile email or other enterprise applications.
The research surveyed 240 senior IT decision makers from a mixture of large and medium size organizations across Germany, Italy and the UK to examine the current state of play in the wireless data market and explore the issues that IT and business decision makers should take into account when setting a strategy for wireless data.
Few Businesses Have a Strategic Approach to Wireless Email
Similar to the early adoption of mobile phones, the report reveals that many developments in wireless data have been user led, particularly for wireless email, where adoption has been tactical and localized within pockets of the business, and only 18% of businesses have taken a co-coordinated strategic approach. However, as the businesses seek to cascade the benefits of mobile email and applications across the organization, they are starting to consider the issues they need to take into account to develop a coherent wireless data strategy and question whether investments to date form a good foundation.
Open Standards Are Crucial
The report reveals that open standards and clear policies will be crucial to drive the next wave of mobile investments. 97% of IT decision makers surveyed were adamant that clear policies and standards need to be applied to all future mobile data investments. Only 5% of businesses surveyed currently have defined policies against which they have aligned their mobile investment decisions, whilst 20% have defined policies, but now need to retrofit previous investments to these policies.
Broad Device Support Critical to Businesses
To deal with the future requirements of a broader user-base, 95% of enterprises consider it critical that their strategy enables them to support a wide range of standard handheld devices from different manufacturers at different price points. This is illustrated by the fact that 90% of respondents do not believe the mobile market is mature; therefore devices will continue to change rapidly. The incorporation of tools to deal with operational issues such as security, systems and device management is now mandatory for 50% of businesses and important for a further 40%, along with the ability to extend initial project scope to deal with application requirements. Overall, 96% of businesses surveyed would be reluctant to make decisions that closed down device options or restricted future activity.
Commenting on the research findings, Rip Gerber, senior executive at Intellisync, said: “The research reveals IT professionals and businesses are losing patience with localized investments and proprietary point devices and want to see a different approach. Businesses now need to start treating wireless data as any other strategic IT investment. They need to be creating a strategy that can scale beyond a single function and device if they are going to seize the full potential of mobile enterprise, from push email to extending ROI on existing investments. Finally, they need to build into their plan the management of an increasing variety of devices, including the omni-present security challenge. It is a message that Intellisync has been spreading for many years, so we are not surprised by the findings, in fact, we are encouraged by them. We believe for the first time, we can state with confidence that the market appears to be at a point where the broad, strategic capabilities of mobile infrastructure software, like Intellisync’s, are being actively sought after by IT professionals to meet a higher level of mobile deployment needs. Mobile supply and demand are converging, right at what research analysts are calling the ‘wireless email tipping point’.”
Principal analyst at Quocirca, Elaine Axby, says: “It is in everyone’s interest for the market to reach an inflection or tipping point as the achievement of critical mass drives opportunity for lower costs, better skills availability and reduced risk for customers. However, for the mobile enterprise to grow, customers need to be confident that the solutions they put into place will permit future growth, expansion and flexibility and many seem willing to draw a line under previous investment and change tack if necessary.”