IT directors lack mobile strategy

The majority of IT departments do not have a clear strategy for managing mobile devices within their business, according to a...

The majority of IT departments do not have a clear strategy for managing mobile devices within their business, according to a survey of 600 IT directors released last week.

The survey, conducted by Network Research of behalf of mobile operator O2, revealed that 12% of IT budgets are being spent on wireless networks and devices, but 63% of businesses have no mobile strategy.

In addition, the survey found that 36% of companies allow departments to spend money on PDAs and wireless local area networks without consulting the IT department, leading to a situation where 18% of IT directors have no idea what personal devices are being used in the business.

Despite this lack of control, those IT directors surveyed remained complacent, the report warned, with 60% unconcerned about personal device ownership and ad hoc procurement.

Similar issues were raised in separate research from the London School of Economics and Political Science, also released last week. The report, commissioned by software firm Netonomy, warned that UK firms could be harmed by the unmanaged escalation of direct wireless costs, problems relating to the adoption of new services and a lack of understanding of how mobile technology is being used.

Carsten Sorensen, senior lecturer in IS at the LSE and report author, said, "Businesses should treat wireless assets and other mobile resources just like any other valuable business asset. By managing these assets more effectively, organisations can enter this era of mobility with confidence. The alternative is to write out a blank cheque for mobile resources and experience questionable value in return."

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