Corporate mobility triples in a year

Corporate mobility triples in a year Demand for mobile increases across Europe ·       65% of companies now provide remote access to corporate business systems – compared to just 20% in 2005 ·       30% more businesses will become active in mobile over the course of 2006 ·       50% of companies now use the same strategy to govern both mobile and IT ·       Improved customer service and competitive advantage are driving mobile investment in over 50% of companies ·       40% of companies will increase their mobile spend over the next 12 months New research launched today into corporate mobile usage shows that the number of businesses actively providing employees with remote access to corporate business systems and other services has trebled over the last 12 months, increasing from 20% in 2005 to 65% in 2006. An additional 30% of businesses will also become active in mobile during 2006, leaving just 5% with no plans to mobilise parts of their enterprise. The findings are based on an independent study launched today by O2 and conducted by Quocirca to better understand how mobile is being deployed by companies and integrated into the wider IT infrastructure. The survey was based on in-depth interviews with 520 senior IT and communication decision makers from a broad cross-section of industries including the UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy.  Approximately 40% of the respondents were from €1 billion-plus turnover enterprises. The findings reveal that after years of exploratory approaches and pilot projects, Europe’s organisations are finally implementing wireless data technology on a wide scale, with 15% of corporates running more than five different remote access projects; while a further 60% have between two and five, both big increases over 2005 figures.  The growing appetite for mobile is not just in the form of familiar email applications (which have increased in penetration from 10% in 2005 to 21% of companies in 2006,) but also includes remote access to other business and internal administration systems, which are being deployed by 70% of companies.   Whilst in previous surveys undertaken by O2 and Quocirca, businesses have struggled to articulate the drivers behind their investment beyond the need to mobilise their workforce, now for the first term, more business focused factors such as competitive advantage and customer service were cited by over 50% of respondents as the key drivers behind their mobile strategy. Coinciding with a more business focused approach, the survey reveals that many of these developments in mobile are no longer taking place as isolated, separately funded projects, but are now part of an overall integrated IT and communications strategy funded from the same sources and driven by the same philosophies. 55% of those businesses surveyed now fund their mobile spend from the traditional IT budget compared, whilst over half have also integrated mobile into their core IT strategies. As the reach of mobile has extended, so too has the awareness of the real challenges presented by mobile. Security, in particular has become a much bigger concerns as adoption spreads and the number of devices proliferates, whilst service level agreements for connectivity are also becoming more critical. Commenting on the findings, Ben Dowd, General Manager Business Sales, O2 UK says, “It’s an inescapable fact that mobile is no longer the preserve of science projects and isolated pilots.   Businesses are taking mobile seriously and it’s become a strategic business issue.  In turn, this is having a marked impact on the things companies want from their service providers. The need for tactical advice on products is dropping away fast, and is being replaced by a much greater need for strategic business advice to solve real business problems and bespoke solutions which the mobile industry needs to respond to.” Rob Bamforth, Principal Analyst at Quocirca said: “After early trials and pilots, companies are moving onto the next step with an upswing in those already active or becoming active in this area.  Expanding beyond those initial deployments means a broader community of users, and more applications as mobility becomes mainstream. This underpins the more strategic approach to the planning and usage of mobile and remote access.” In recognition of the of burgeoning demand for corporate data, coupled with services that are fit for purpose, O2 has re-focused its own corporate strategy to meet the challenge of UK corporates’ changing mobile needs. The new approach allows O2 to grow market share by taking a far more consultative approach to sales and give a better customer experience that is driven by customer insights. O2 is one of the first operators to move away from the standard mobile industry tactical voice-driven approach to mobile, to one that focuses on achieving a competitive advantage and providing effective solutions.  The new strategy also encompasses a strong international capability enabled by the new O2 & Telefonica footprint and globally through O2 partners.