Financial services companies leaving BlackBerry behind, survey shows

Financial services organizations are expecting to leave the BlackBerry Ltd. brand in droves, leaving BB10 behind and migrating to other operating systems, according to a new survey from the Ponemon Institute LLC and MobileIron, a mobile device management solutions provider.

Given the Waterloo, Ont.-based smartphone maker’s reputation for ironclad security, BlackBerry’s smartphones have long been the mobile devices of choice for the financial services industry. But in a survey of 405 U.S.-based IT security professionals working in fields like banking, insurance, investments, and payment processing, 49 per cent said their companies would not have any BlackBerry devices within their organizations in 12 months’ time.

Another 52 per cent of respondents said they already have teams in place, working on migrating employees’ devices away from BlackBerry and towards a multi-operating system environment.

That’s a weighty number, considering 44 per cent of all the devices currently used in financial services organizations come from BlackBerry. That number is expected to slip down to 30 per cent in the next 12 months as IT departments begin phasing out their BlackBerry smartphones.

The major reason for the switch? Among those polled, one of the main driving factors is the desire to boost employee productivity, as well as to satisfy employees’ wants for other mobile devices. Respondents also said they wanted to ensure there would be enough apps available for their employees’ demands. However, BlackBerry’s stability as a company only seemed to play a small part in these financial services companies’ decision to migrate, the authors of the study noted.

Nor does migrating come cheaply. Just over half of respondents said they think the cost of migrating away from BlackBerry will cost anywhere from $5 million to $25 million.

To see an infographic, click to open the PDF: Infographic – The Changing Mobile Landscape in Financial Services

Given how many organizations are looking at mobile as a bigger play within their organizations, the bring-your-own-device trend is shaping up to be increasingly important, the survey found. While there are currently about 7,400 smartphones in the workplace now, that number is expected to shoot up to almost 14,000.

Right now, about 40 per cent of the smartphones and tablets within the financial services organizations polled are employee-owned. That number is set to jump to 49 per cent within the next 12 months. Plus, 50 per cent of respondents said they believe their employees will be accessing their emails from mobile devices by the end of this year.

Looking toward the future, 69 per cent of those surveyed said the CIOs of their organizations believe mobile devices will replace laptops and desktops at work. However, just 38 per cent said they feel sure they can handle all of the security concerns that come with integrating mobile devices into the workplace – and only half of those polled said they have a mobility strategy in place.

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Candice So
Candice So
Candice is a graduate of Carleton University and has worked in several newsrooms as a freelance reporter and intern, including the Edmonton Journal, the Ottawa Citizen, the Globe and Mail, and the Windsor Star. Candice is a dog lover and a coffee drinker.

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