Businesses Slow to Adopt Formal Mobility Policies, CompTIA Study Finds

U.S. survey of 500 U.S.-based business and IT professionals shows evolving corporate guidelines dominated by security and management issues.

Less than 50 percent of IT departments in U.S. businesses either have implemented or currently are crafting a formal mobility policy to cover issues such as application security and corporate data confidentiality, according to a study by CompTIA, an IT industry association.

CompTIA’s survey of some 500 business and IT professionals in a variety of U.S.-based industries revealed that 70 percent of the participants view security as the strongest consideration to how companies support mobile workers.

Businesses constructing a mobility strategy typically want to accommodate the needs of their mobile workforce but connecting to customers also is a priority, said Seth Robinson, CompTIA director, technology analysis.

“The ability to connect to customers in a mobile environment is increasingly important,” he said. “So any mobility strategy must address the needs of two different groups with distinct needs and requirements.”

Only 22 percent of businesses in the study currently deploy a formal mobility policy covering guidelines for mobile applications and corporate data. Another 20 percent were working on it at the time the survey was conducted, CompTIA said.

The participants pointed to a laundry list of security issues, such as downloading unauthorized applications, lost or stolen devices, viruses and malware, open WI-Fi networks, USB flash drives and employees using business devices for personal use as drivers for companies to adopt security measures including passcodes, tracking software and encrypting data.

“Issues such as mobile device management and mobile security are really in the beginning stages,” said Robinson. “Organizations will have to strike a balance between business objectives and security objectives, which may not always be in synch,” he said.

CompTIA collected the data in November, 2011. The study is available free of charge at the association’s web site.

TAGS: security,mobility,mobile,policy,CompTIA,IT professionals



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