Let’s face it, mobile devices are how work gets done. Modernization and remote work business models are laying out the red carpet for laptops and cell phones. That means companies must adopt mobile strategies, taking a mobile-first approach to their operations and digital transformation. But that also means it’s time to take a closer look at how the corporate fleet of mobile assets is managed to deliver on today’s expectations around security and always-on services. How are executive leaders effectively handling high volumes of connected devices?
A new research study from Vanson Bourne surveyed 300 IT decision makers from organizations with global annual revenue from $500 million to more than $50 billion, shedding light on exactly that. The research report explores the latest trends in device usage and how companies satisfy the requirements of administration with Managed Mobility Services (MMS) keeping inventories, assets, and security under control. Study findings point to high levels of satisfaction and value with primary benefits in both security and ROI.
Here are the research highlights.
High Reliance on Mobile Comes with High Stakes
The study reveals a troubling challenge: Every company is reliant on mobile devices, but that dependence creates a sizable drag on IT resources — to the tune of 1/3 of IT team productivity and cost. And with overall staff churn rates at 17%, managing a mobile fleet is a challenge for companies of all sizes, particularly for growing companies managing larger and larger fleets. The study shows:
- 68,000: Average number of devices in use (laptops, phones, tablets, wearables, others)
- 65% of companies are completely reliant on mobile devices
- 34% of IT’s time is spent on managing mobile assets
- 32% of costs is spent on managing mobile assets
- 17% average staff turnover rate in 2022
Check out the complete infographic
To make matters worse, reliance on mobile comes with high stakes.
Business continuity and mobile services are tightly intertwined, meaning the fleet is a key player in avoiding revenue losses. Also, most employees are using personal devices to do their work, which means companies can’t afford not to address mobile security risks. Findings state:
- 30%+ of annual revenue would be lost without working mobile assets
- $4M: projected loss per hour of downtime across mobile assets
- 65% of devices accessing company information are personally owned
Dependency Drives the Need for Mobility Management Services
Managing such a vast and broad array of assets is no simple task, and with organizations reporting high levels of reliance, the study indicates a strong context for why effective management, such as a Managed Mobility Services (MMS) solution, is so crucial. Others concur. Complexity is a key factor behind that importance as Zeus Kerravala from ZK Research explains in a Network Computing article:
“For most businesses, managing mobile devices is significantly more complicated than traditional PCs and laptops as there are a wide range of apps, operating systems, device types, and other factors that are unique to mobile phones and tablets.”
IT leaders are hyper aware that managing (much less securing) these assets can mean distraction from more meaningful work, like turning emerging technologies into strategic value for their organization. Mobile administration and support duties include manual work that solution platforms can automate using AI-powered software. That’s why companies are adopting MMS to take a 360-degree view of all mobile management. For instance, with Tangoe One MMS, you can order, track, pay, audit, and optimize across your entire fleet and gain actionable insights that will drive improved productivity and bottom-line savings.
Evaluating MMS Providers: Security and Efficiency are Mission Critical
In exploring the challenges companies face as well as the critical capabilities of MMS, the study hints at what IT leaders value most in their solution partnerships. Findings show 100% of companies are struggling in mobile device management due to recruitment and retention issues, and 89% agree their mobile device helpdesk requires improvement. The top challenges include sourcing new mobile assets (73%), managing mobile inventory (70%), help desk support (61%), and reverse logistics – collecting and recycling assets (53%). IT teams also have trouble keeping track of users’ devices, but this is less of a challenge when their helpdesks are managed by an external vendor.
When it comes to mission-critical capabilities, survey respondents say reducing security top the list at 48% with creating efficiencies (47%) and reducing responsibilities on the client’s internal IT team (42%) as also important.
Preferred Approaches: BYOD and Corporate-Owned Policies are Shifting
The study also takes a deep dive into understanding the mobile device policies companies currently have in place, revealing expected shifts in the future. While most respondents prefer a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy for mobile phones and a corporate-owned policy for laptops, most aren’t convinced their existing ownership approach will stick.
More than 81% of respondents say they will change their mobile ownership policy in the future.
In unpacking these two approaches, the study finds BYOD models bring strengths in making it easier to work from anywhere (45%) and making employees happy (43%), whereas corporate-owned models bring strengths in increased and security (43%) and productivity (44%) due to the speed of managing corporate sanctioned applications. Contrastingly, the top two problems with BYOD models are security concerns (53%) and data breaches (50%). Regardless of which approach companies use (BYOD vs corporate-owned), they all tend to take the same precautions against mobile security threats and implement the same security protections against them.
The bottom line: Companies are in a difficult place trying to balance the requirements of security with the freedoms of employee choice and happiness. Today’s dominant approach is only temporary. Best practices remain obscure – now is a good time to evaluate your mobile strategy and its effectiveness, staying open to change.
Survey Shows MMS Benefits include Positive ROI, Savings, and Security
The study explores the benefits of MMS with the vast majority of respondents agreeing that their investments deliver value across all the six different categories surveyed, which in addition to ROI include freeing IT resources and increasing uptime, productivity, security, and cost savings. The numbers send a loud message for those considering an investment that delivers tangible value:
- 94% are satisfied with their mobiles management service
- 90% say MMS is delivering a positive ROI
- 91% say MMS improves business uptime
- 90% say MMS enhances productivity
- 88% report using MMS provides better security
- 88% say MMS reduces costs and wasted spend
- 52% estimated IT time savings from MMS
- 15% IT cost savings achieved/expected from a full lifecycle MMS
Decision makers recognize the value of managing their technologies together in one solution from one provider. In fact, results show a strong belief that end-to-end mobile management services provide tangible cost savings, further proving the efficiencies to be gained from a partnership covering the end-to-end lifecycle – spanning the work of sourcing and procurement all the way through recycling and wiping mobile assets clean for their next owners.
Hight Value Indicates MMS Combats the Complexity of Mobile Devices
As companies of every size and across every industry become more mobile-centric, managing a vast array of assets becomes a bigger, more difficult and yet more important task. The IT complexity of managing multiple mobile services and providers alongside the criticality of securing them can quickly undermine productivity and innovation of IT teams if companies don’t have the right support partnerships in place to help them administer and secure a sprawling landscape of devices. The study shows investments are largely justified with 90% of respondents reporting positive ROI as well 52% savings in productivity.
Download the complete research report from Vanson Bourne.