Just ahead of the Mobile Enterprise Strategies Summit next week, IT World Canada has released a survey of decision-makers and their attitudes towards bringing mobile devices into their offices.

The biggest findings? Canadian decision-makers want to embrace mobile as a way to boost productivity, but their biggest concerns are with integrating mobile into the workplace.

In this survey, decision-makers from the private sector, transportation, law, healthcare, banking, telecommunications, energy and utilities, wireless carriers, IT solutions providers, and all levels of government were polled based on their perceptions of enterprise mobility trends in Canada. IT World Canada and the Strategy Institute spearheaded the survey earlier this year.

Among respondents, the key reason many are now investing in mobile and wireless technologies is because they want to boost their productivity. A whopping 43.1 per cent of respondents said that was their key driver.

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Yet while organizations were keen to help their employees improve their output, a solid 26.2 per cent also said their biggest mobile challenge was being able to integrate their mobile devices with their existing systems. Another 13.8 per cent said they were also concerned with keeping their data secure while jumping into mobile, and 9.2 per cent said they thought managing their devices and apps was a challenge.

The biggest business tool among organizations seemed to be smartphones, with 41.5 per cent of these organizations reporting they were using smartphones in the field. Closely following were laptops at 33.8 per cent. And while smartphones have proven their popularity, 46.2 per cent of people polled said the bring your own device (BYOD) trend was creating a “tightrope walk” for their company. About 27.7 per cent said no, that wasn’t the case, while 26.2 per cent said they were indifferent.

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Perhaps those concerned with BYOD have had good reason in the past. Among survey respondents, about half said their biggest threat was employees who misused their mobile devices. Following closely at 45 per cent was malware, yet only a little over 20 per cent of respondents were worried about hackers looking to attack their companies.

Interestingly enough, there was no general consensus on what the pros of BYOD might be. There was an almost even split between the benefits of BYOD, with 24.6 per cent saying it improves employee satisfaction. 23.1 per cent said it increased worker productivity, and 20 per cent said it provided a flexible work environment. 18.5 per cent said it cut back on IT’s costs and requirements.

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Looking towards the future, nearly half of organizations, or 44.6 per cent, said they were planning on investing in enterprise mobility solutions over the next two years. 24.6 per cent said they had already done so, 27.7 per cent said they were not sure, while just 3.1 per cent said no.

Within organizations, 45 per cent of respondents said the people driving the adoption of mobile solutions tended to be the heads of business units. The IT department followed closely behind, at about 40 per cent, while executive management was set at 35 per cent.

IT World Canada’s Mobile Enterprise Strategies Summit will be held at Toronto’s Old Mill Inn on Oct. 23, running until Oct. 24.

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