Mobile Enterprise Collaboration Still Immature

When asked to describe their own IT organizations in terms of collaboration maturity, 21 percent of IT respondents describe themselves as innovators.

mobile collaboration and BYOD

Upwards of 90 percent of IT respondents empower employees with email access, 88 percent provide company calendar access and 82 percent enable employees to manage contact directories on their mobile devices, according to a survey of more than 1,400 business and IT leaders by

However, the report indicated there is a consistent gap between what IT claims it is providing and what business reports available across all collaboration categories (personal, internal and external), with the gap widening to 20-30 percent for internal and external features.

Beyond personal productivity, only about one-third of today’s business professionals say internal (33 percent) and external (31 percent) collaboration tools are available for them on mobile devices.

When asked to describe their own IT organizations in terms of collaboration maturity, 21 percent of IT respondents describe themselves as "innovators" versus a mere 7 percent on the business side.

Conversely, just 9 percent of IT respondents rate their IT organizations as "laggards" compared to 29 percent of business respondents.

"Businesses are still in the early stages of the mobile collaboration migration with most of the IT efforts still focusing on infrastructure, security and personal productivity," CEO Yaacov Cohen told eWEEK. "True enterprise mobile collaboration requires a new operational alignment between business and IT. Specifically, IT needs to define the top priority business use cases that will impact the business. This is a new language for IT, which needs to step up and evolve from gate-keepers to business enablers. IT needs to empower the business to take advantage of the mobile revolution."

Microsoft still leads the pack as being the most likely mobile enterprise innovator in 2015 (cited by 50 percent of IT respondents) followed by Google and Apple (35 and 25 percent respectively).

Upwards of 90 percent of IT respondents reported that spending on collaborative technologies for 2015 will either match or exceed 2014, the survey revealed.

Currently, IT reports much higher availability of tools and business applications on mobile across all categories than its business counterparts.

While less than half of business respondents (47 percent) are aware of the existence of a mobile device policy in their company, 83 percent of IT respondents claim to have one in place.

In addition, IT’s investment in business applications on mobile devices does not meet the stated needs and priorities of business counterparts.For example, 40 percent of IT ranks customer service as the business process that will benefit most from mobile enablement compared to only 24 percent of business respondents.

While SharePoint/Office 365 secured the top spot among enterprise collaboration platforms with 44 percent of all respondents reporting having access, this position does not extend to other Microsoft collaboration tools such as Lync and Yammer, which placed fourth and eighth, respectively.

As Microsoft does not currently offer a complete collaboration platform and secure enterprise collaboration tools are not readily available in the organization, companies are still willing to adopt non-secure tools to get the job done, the report noted.

Skype and Google Drive are the top two consumer technologies available across all company sizes (44 percent and 42 percent).

"BYOD programs are surely pushing mobile collaboration to the forefront as better equipping a mobile-dependent workforce becomes a higher priority. But laying out the infrastructure is only a first step," Cohen said. "Now, business needs to take advantage of this infrastructure to move to true mobile collaboration. IT will then generate a totally new level of business value."