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Posted Date: 2/12/2013

Rising Mobile Data Costs Causing Major Concerns for 57 Percent of IT Managers

iPass and MobileIron published their 2013 Mobile Enterprise Report. The survey, which draws from the experiences of 477 IT executives worldwide, found that IT is concerned about rising mobility costs and feeling frustration and loss of control over Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). The majority of survey respondents (57 percent) thought their mobile data roaming costs would rise in 2013, with eight percent saying they'll rise more than 25 percent.
 
BYOD is creating new challenges for IT. The top two sources of frustration were onboarding and then supporting the increasing number and variety of personal devices, far outranking even security concerns. The survey also found that IT is increasingly losing control of mobility budgets as departments assume greater responsibility for mobile initiatives. The number of enterprises in which IT manages the mobility spend has dropped to 48 percent, down from 53 percent in 2011. Forty (40) percent of companies' mobility budgets are now managed by non-IT departments. The complete report is available at www.ipass.com/resource-center/surveys-reports/reports/mer-2013/.
 
When asked about rising data costs, 44 percent of IT managers named the growing number of devices per mobile worker as a factor; 41 percent highlighted pricey 3G (and 4G) data plans; and 22 percent pointed to an increase in the number of mobile workers as major cost culprits. On average, IT departments spend $96 a month on data fees alone for each mobile worker. North American mobile workers rack up the highest fees ($97/mo), exposing the expense of mobile broadband. Since free Wi-Fi is abundant in North America, these fees primarily reflect non-Wi-Fi forms of mobility, such as 3G and 4G.
 
The survey shows that BYOD continues to gain ground. Fifty-six (56) percent of respondents, up from 47 percent in 2011, have changed their corporate guidelines within the past year to be more accommodating of employees' preferences for using personal devices. Eighty-one (81) percent of respondents state their company now accommodates personal devices in the office. More than half (54 percent) have formal BYOD policies in place and North American companies are more likely than European companies to have done so. The survey found that while many organizations allow BYOD not all of them have actual policies for it. Of the 72 percent of enterprises with enterprise mobility strategies in place, only 37 percent of IT managers thought their own company's mobile strategy was effective, while 35 percent felt that their company had an insufficient approach.
 
The survey also revealed:
  • IT is more bullish on Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 handsets than on RIM's BlackBerry 10 phones. Both device lines are new and designed to appeal to the enterprise, as well as consumers. However, only 34 percent of IT managers plan to support BlackBerry 10, compared to 45 percent who plan to support Windows Phone 8 devices going forward.
  • Tablet adoption is growing more mainstream within the enterprise. Between 2011 and 2012, tablet usage increased in all non-executive departments. Legal and HR/administration saw the biggest hike (14 percent year-over-year) in tablet support, followed by finance/accounting (13 percent year-over-year).
  • Fifty-five (55) percent of the companies surveyed reported some form of security issue over the past year, primarily with lost and stolen phones.
  • More than half (55 percent) of IT managers are using Wi-Fi connectivity apps for work purposes. Wi-Fi apps were named as the most widely used apps out of 10 different types of enterprise mobility apps.

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