Cybersecurity Threats and EU Regulations Impact Mobility Budget Plans

By: Jeff Bertolucci| - Leave a comment


Enterprises in Europe and North American say mobile technology is playing an integral role in their digital transformation efforts, driving improvements in employee productivity, operating costs and information access. While many businesses have mobility budget plans in place to meet these challenges, they’re struggling to comply with device privacy and security rules to meet the upcoming European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) taking effect next May.

Strategy Analytics recently released its 2017 Enterprise Survey, which polled more than 1,200 IT leaders in nine vertical markets in the U.S., the U.K., France and Germany during the first quarter of 2017. The survey set out to answer three primary questions:

  • What does the workforce want and need?
  • What benefits can an enterprise derive from implementing mobile solutions?
  • What can organizations do to effectively manage a mobile technology roll out?

The study found that workers are using an increasingly eclectic mix of technologies, including smartphones, tablets and business and Internet of Things apps.

Mobility Budget Concerns

Organizations understand the growing role of mobile, and they’re willing to invest in hardware, software and services to meet the changing needs of employees and users. IT budgets, including enterprise mobility, are set to rise over the next five years, Strategy Analytics found.

The study also revealed 30 percent of enterprises spent 5 to 10 percent of their budgets on IT in 2016, while nearly 12 percent spent at least 10 percent on IT.

Enterprise mobility management (EMM) is the preferred tool for managing business data on personal devices and a major consideration in the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) era. According to the study, nearly one-third of respondents said they don’t manage corporate data on personally liable devices, citing security concerns. This gap presents a major opportunity to add mobile security tools and EMM solutions to mobile devices.

EU Changes Coming Fast

IT leaders are very much focused on GDPR, which implements stringent notification requirements and high noncompliance penalties for organizations operating both within and outside the EU. The new rules are designed to offer EU citizens greater control over their personal data while streamlining compliance rules for businesses.

One major consequence of the GDPR focus is that corporate-liable devices — company-issued smartphones, for example — dominate in EU countries. In addition, BYOD policies are not cost-effective for companies in the EU, and penetration rates for EMM, secure container and active-sync technologies in the region are low, the study found.

Time to Strengthen Mobility

Unlocked devices are a thorn in IT’s side, as well: 29 percent of companies surveyed said more than 50 percent of their corporate-liable smartphones are unlocked devices. Organizations may struggle to make these devices GDPR-compliant if they don’t put effective EMM or mobile security solutions in place.

Other studies also show IT leaders are greatly concerned with mobile data management, security and cloud integration. In a recent Clutch-DMI survey of 582 IT decision-makers, respondents named cloud integration and mobile device management as the main focus of their organization’s mobility efforts, followed by mobile application management.

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About The Author

Jeff Bertolucci

News Writer

Jeff Bertolucci is a Los Angeles-based journalist specializing in technology, digital media, and education. His work has appeared in Kiplinger's Personal Finance, InformationWeek, PCWorld, Macworld, The Saturday Evening Post, The Los Angeles Times and many other publications.