IT managers will have to support up to eight mobile platforms

Jenny Williams

IT managers will have to support up to eight mobile platforms within their organisations by the end of the year as open operating systems (OS) spread into the enterprise, according to research.

In a survey of 250 IT managers by SAP-owned Sybase almost a quarter (21%) expected to support several operating systems by the end of the year. The majority (90%) planned to introduce new mobile applications into their organisations in 2011.

Roberta Cozza, analyst at Gartner, believes open source OSs, such as Google's Android, will become more relevant for businesses now security features have started to be included. She said IT managers will need to manage the increasing diversity within the mobile OS market.

"The business user cannot be detached from also being a consumer user. They want to choose their own device. IT managers cannot just say 'no'. They will have to support employees," said Cozza.

She said the IT department can compromise by restricting employees' use of consumer devices to limited work services, such as email-only.

"IT managers need to implement something that is platform agnostic due to the huge diversity. At some point we should see some consolidation [between operating systems]. But that will take some time," she said.

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