Mobile technology has reached a "tipping point" in Europe with over two thirds of European firms considering or actively planning rollouts of wireless email or other enterprise mobility applications, research published today has claimed.
However, according to the latest survey of European IT decision makers from independent analyst firm Quocirca, one in three respondents are concerned that previous investments in mobile technology are not future proof.
A third of those polled are worried that they will not be able fully to mobilise their workforce using their current enterprise software and applications.
The report revealed that few businesses have a strategic approach to wireless email. Similar to the early adoption of mobile phones, Quocirca noted that many developments in wireless data have been user led, particularly for wireless email where adoption has been tactical and localised.
Only 18 per cent of businesses were found to have taken a co-ordinated strategic approach.
Quocirca predicted that open standards and clear policies will be crucial to drive the next wave of mobile investments. An overwhelming 97 per cent of IT decision makers surveyed were adamant that clear policies and standards need to be applied to all future mobile data investments.
Only five per cent of businesses surveyed currently have defined policies against which they have aligned mobile investment decisions, while a fifth have defined policies but now need to retrofit previous investments to these policies.
To deal with the future requirements of a broader user base, 95 per cent of enterprises indicated that they consider it 'critical' that their strategy enables them to support a wide range of standard handheld devices from different manufacturers at different price points.
This is illustrated by the fact that 90 per cent of respondents do not believe that the mobile market is mature, and that devices will continue to change rapidly.
The incorporation of tools to deal with mobile operational issues such as security, systems and device management is now 'mandatory' for 50 per cent of businesses and 'important' for a further 40 per cent, along with the ability to extend initial project scope to deal with application requirements.
Overall, 96 per cent of businesses surveyed would be reluctant to make decisions that closed down device options or restricted future activity.
Elaine Axby, principal analyst at Quocirca, said: "It is in everyone's interest for the market to reach an inflection or tipping point as the achievement of critical mass drives opportunity for lower costs, better skills availability and reduced risk for customers.
"However, for the mobile enterprise to grow, customers need to be confident that the solutions they put in place will permit future growth, expansion and flexibility, and many seem willing to draw a line under previous investment and change tack if necessary."
The research, sponsored by wireless messaging and mobile software firm Intellisync, surveyed 240 senior IT decision makers from a mixture of large and medium sized organisations across Germany, Italy and the UK.
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