Research finds disconnect between smartphone adoption and device management

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Zenprise today announced findings from an Osterman Research study that reports that most enterprise IT departments are not equipped to handle the rapid increase in smartphone adoption. In fact, less than 40 percent of respondents express confidence in their mobile management platform.

Osterman Research forecasts that the proportion of the North American workforce equipped with employer-supplied mobile devices will double from 23 percent of the workforce in 2008 to 46 percent by 2011. If left unmanaged, rapid smartphone adoption can result in serious problems including lost productivity and revenue, as well as escalating support costs.

A synopsis of the key report findings include:

  • Only 40% of organizations expressed confidence that all elements of their mobile messaging platform are fully protected against downtime.
  • 60% of decision makers expressed modest, minimal or no confidence that they can protect their mobile infrastructure from downtime.
  • 33% of organizations do not offer an SLA and have no plans to do so.

Despite a clear lack of confidence in IT’s current mobile infrastructure, they are being asked to support a greater variety and number of mobile platforms. Software that can automatically troubleshoot mobile user issues and simplify management are fast becoming a staple of the data center.


Zenprise, Inc., the leader in automating mobile management, today released findings of an Osterman Research study on “IT Best Practices: To Support or Not Support Consumer-Owned Smartphones.” The research finds that most enterprise IT departments are not equipped to handle the rapid increase in smartphone adoption. Of those surveyed, only two in five expressed confidence that all elements of their mobile messaging platform are fully protected against downtime.

“Our most surprising finding indicates that IT will be asked to support a greater variety and number mobile platforms, despite a clear lack of confidence in their current mobile infrastructure,” said Michael Osterman, founder of Osterman Research. “These juxtaposed positions send a clear signal that IT needs help. Software that can automatically troubleshoot mobile user issues and simplify management are fast becoming a staple of the data center.”

Osterman Research forecasts that the proportion of the North American workforce equipped with employer-supplied mobile devices will double from 23 percent of the workforce in 2008 to 46 percent by 2011. Along with BlackBerry and Windows Mobile, demand for iPhone and Symbian-based devices will increase over the next year. As a result, IT organizations will be required to support this growing complexity on flat or reduced budgets. If left unmanaged, rapid smartphone adoption can result in serious problems including lost productivity and revenue, as well as escalating IT support costs.

The survey, prepared by Osterman Research, includes key findings such as:

MOST ARE NOT CONFIDENT IN THEIR ABILITY TO ADDRESS MOBILE DOWNTIME:
Only 40 percent of organizations expressed confidence that all elements of their mobile messaging platform are fully protected against downtime.

60 percent of decision makers express modest, minimal or no confidence that they can protect their mobile infrastructure from downtime.

THE MOBILE INFRASTRUCTURE IS BECOMING MORE HETEROGENEOUS:
The number of mobile platforms in use in the workplace is growing, increasing the heterogeneous nature of the mobile management environment. BlackBerry and Windows Mobile devices will continue to dominate IT organizations’ support plans for the foreseeable future, although the presence of other devices such as the iPhone will continue to increase.

The survey revealed a more than 100 percent increase in support for iPhones and a 40 percent increase in Symbian-based mobile devices from 2008 to 2009.

BlackBerry and Windows Mobile continue to thrive with over 75 percent of the organizations supporting BlackBerry devices and more than 60 percent supporting Windows Mobile.

DOWNTIME CONTINUES TO BE A SERIOUS PROBLEM:
While enterprise mobility provides executives with anytime, anywhere access to corporate information, downtime is still a critical concern for organizations. Over 80 percent of the respondents indicated that downtime would negatively impact their business.

Based on an average calculated from survey results, the typical organization experiences 29 minutes of downtime per month from their BlackBerry environment, resulting in serious productivity and cost ramifications across an organization.

SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENTS RARELY EXIST:
Only 5 percent of organizations currently provide a Service Level Agreement (SLA) of 99.999 percent availability for their BlackBerry users. This translates to five or fewer minutes of downtime each year; however, most organizations do not provide SLAs that offer this level of uptime.

In fact, 33 percent of organizations do not offer an SLA and have no plans to do so.

STRONG DEMAND FOR APPLE IPHONE:
The Apple iPhone continues to make strides in the workplace. Even with 71 percent of organizations reporting strong user interest for BlackBerry devices, more than half (54 percent) of those surveyed reported demand for iPhones.

This may create a significant market for hosted services that manage mobile enterprise environments, or for new software tools that automate mobile management.

HIGH-PROFILE EMPLOYEES ARE THE LEADING MOBILE USERS:
High-profile employees – technical senior managers (78 percent), non technical senior managers (76 percent), traveling employees (65 percent), technical middle managers (64 percent) and mobile sales-related employees (63 percent) – are the heaviest users of mobile messaging technologies. This means that an outage or other problems in the mobile system will result in more serious repercussions for IT.

“Osterman Research paints a clear picture of the mobile management challenges facing today’s enterprise,” said Zenprise CEO Jayaram Bhat. “Over the next 12-18 months, organizations will be pushed to support multiple mobile platforms – all of which have unique management needs. Our ZenPro automation technology allows companies to more cost effectively manage multiple platforms. Our customers routinely experience a 55+ percent reduction in calls, and greater than a 75 percent reduction in mean time to repair.”

Zenprise MobileManager provides a best practices approach to finding and fixing user issues through its use of automation. Organizations that automate mobile service management can lower mean time to repair, standardize problem resolution, minimize support calls and improve overall productivity.

Download a free copy of the report from Zenprise.

Survey Methodology

The report was commissioned by Osterman Research and Zenprise. It details quantitative research with decision makers about their organizations’ messaging systems. More than 125 online surveys were conducted across North America. The sample represents a strong cross-section of companies ranging in sizes and vertical markets, with an average of 15,000 employees and email users.

About Zenprise

Zenprise’s award winning software automates mobile management. The software automatically troubleshoots end user issues across BlackBerry®, iPhone, and Windows Mobile environments. Unlike pure monitoring solutions, Zenprise identifies the root cause of end user issues and provides detailed resolution steps to fix these problems. Founded in 2003, Zenprise is headquartered in Fremont, California and is privately held with funding from investors Bay Partners, Ignition Partners, Mayfield Fund, and Shasta Ventures. Zenprise’s executive and product teams bring enterprise software experience from companies such as Mercury, EDS, Zambeel, Bay Networks, and Loudcloud.