CIOs Embracing Mobility Must Tackle Security, BYOD Concerns

Just 38 percent of CIOs surveyed are confident that they can address the risks posed by new mobile platforms.

Mobility has introduced disruptive business and employee demands that are causing chief information officers (CIOs) to shift to a new model of enterprise IT, according to the results of a MobileIron survey of more than 400 IT and IT security practitioners in financial services organizations conducted by the Ponemon Institute.

Half of respondents said they expect that the majority of their employees will be using email and apps on mobile devices in the next 12 months, and adoption of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives is also expected to grow, with the percentage of personally owned smartphones and tablets in the organization increasing from 40 percent to 49 percent in the same time period.

However, 50 percent of respondents said their company does not have a mobile strategy. Of those companies with a mobile strategy, 45 percent say it is not aligned with IT objectives and 36 percent say it is not aligned with business objectives.

Although financial services organizations are rapidly expanding their mobile investments, there is a concurrent accountability gap—48 percent say the line-of-business is most responsible for their organization's mobile strategy, while only 16 percent say that responsibility sits with the CIO.

"Mobility is now a strategic initiative for many financial services CIOs," Ojas Rege, vice president of strategy at MobileIron, said in a statement. "However, mobility also catalyzes a fundamental re-think of existing IT skills and approaches, and it creates an opportunity for the CIO to lead the development of a new model of partnership between the business, IT and end users."

The survey indicated employees are pushing their IT departments to rapidly move from BlackBerry to a multi-OS environment—44 percent of devices currently in use at financial services organizations are BlackBerry, a figure that is expected to decrease nearly one-third to 30 percent in the next 12 months.

The top three motivations for migration from BlackBerry are employee productivity, employee demands and availability of applications. The report noted concern about BlackBerry's financial stability may have increased the urgency of migration, but it is not the primary motivation for most respondents.

Nearly half (49 percent) of those surveyed expect to have zero BlackBerry devices in their organizations 12 months from now, while 52 percent of respondents have a team in place dedicated to migration from BlackBerry to a multi-OS mobile environment.

Overall, CIOs expect, though are not fully prepared for, a migration from traditional desktop and laptop devices to the new generation of smartphones and tablets.

Nearly 70 percent of respondents said their CIO believes smartphones and tablets will replace most desktops and laptops, but just 38 percent of CIOs are confident that they can address the risks posed by these new mobile platforms.

"Agility and preparedness for change" was the No. 1 factor that respondents said they felt would most contribute to an organization's ability to maintain an effective mobile strategy over time.