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Balancing the benefits and risks of mobile applications in Malaysia

AvantiKumar | March 23, 2012
About 67 percent of Malaysian enterprises are considering custom mobile applications: new Symantec study


Mobile devices as one of the top three IT risks

"While organisations in Malaysia are reaping the benefits from the adoption of mobile devices, almost half of Malaysian respondents from our survey are finding it challenging and rating mobile devices as one of the top three IT risks," said Symantec principal consultant for Asia South region, Nigel Tan. "Many Malaysian organisations are taking the necessary measures to mitigate potential losses. Ensuring adoption of best practices and investments towards a comprehensive security framework can ensure that mobile computing's benefits far outweigh its challenges."

Tan said that 'The State of Mobility Survey' showed the challenges organisations are grappling with in accommodating the mobility tipping point and also identified and quantified mobility-associated risks as perceived by IT decision makers. "In this survey, more than 6,000 organisations from 43 countries, including Malaysia, bring to light the change in the usage of mobile devices and mobile applications.

"The significant adoption of mobile applications demonstrates remarkable confidence, by organisations, in the ability for mobility to deliver value," he said. "This confidence is further supported by a rare alignment between expectations and reality. Generally, the gains expected from new technologies far exceed the reality upon implementation. In the case of mobile computing, however, expectations much more closely matched reality. For the smartphones and tablets currently in use, the largest gap was in efficiency - 70 percent of those surveyed in Malaysia expected to see increased efficiency, yet 60 percent actually saw efficiency gains after implementing."

"However, other areas such as employee productivity and employee satisfaction actually exceeded expectations (59 percent in expectation and 65 percent in actual gains after implementing)," said Tan. "Furthermore, 58 percent of respondents are now relying on mobile devices for line-of-business applications, another sign that mobility has graduated to mainstream status."

"As with the adoption of any new technology, mobility is challenging IT organisations," he said. "Almost half (44 percent) of respondents in Malaysia mentioned that mobility is somewhat to extremely challenging, while 63 percent noted that reducing the cost and complexity is one of their top business objectives. In Symantec's view, this increased pain level indicates the transition from small pilots and tactical implementations - where policies are often bypassed and exceptions are made - to enterprise-wide deployments where policy standards across a larger scale introduce greater complexity."

"Mobile adoption is not without risks, and IT organisations recognise this challenge," said Tan. "About 51 percent of respondents from Malaysia indicate maintaining a high level of security is a top business objective for mobility and 43 percent identified mobile devices as one of the top three IT risks, making it the leading risk cited by IT. Concerns are wide-ranging, from lost and stolen devices, data leakage, unauthorised access to corporate resources and the spread of malware infections from mobile devices to the company network."


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