Businesses will increasingly provide remote support for tablets and smartphones over the next 18 months, but security fears are still an obstacle, according to research by Ovum.
According to the study of 300 IT decision-makers in the UK, France and Germany, only 28% of respondents currently provide remote support to workers using tablets and 10% to smartphones, compared with 75% for PCs.
But the research sponsored by remote support supplier Bomgar found that 52.7% of companies plan to provide remote support to smartphones within 18 months, and 44.5% plan this for tablets. A quarter of the workers at the 300 companies represented in the survey are classed as mobile to some degree.
Security is still a major hurdle for many companies in offering remote access for support staff and third-party support. The research found that 36% of respondents are concerned about the security risks of remote support and 31% are unsure of the potential for vulnerabilities. Only 21.4% are reasonably sure that their remote support platform is secure and only 11.9% are certain.
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“The world of IT support is changing. Business users want to work with different devices over and above the traditional PC, and support desks need to deliver the essential services these users expect,” said Stuart Facey, vice-president of EMEA at Bomgar.
“Remote support is a critical tool in the IT armoury, increasing tech support efficiency and customer satisfaction by allowing technical staff to access and fix any system or device being used in the field. As more and more work moves outside the traditional office walls, the need for remote support will only increase,” he said.
“The onus is on IT to not only deliver great support to its increasingly mobile and remote workers, but to ensure that the tools being used to deliver support limit security vulnerabilities created by the mobile worker,” said Adrian Drury, practice leader for consumer impact technology at Ovum.