CIOs Have Mobile on Their Minds

CIO surveyed IT leaders about their mobile strategy and found plans to increase spending on devices

More than two-thirds of IT leaders believe mobile technology facilitates business innovation at their companies. Less than half think mobile investments are being driven by business strategy.

So finds CIO’s recent survey asking 276 IT professionals about their mobile IT plans. It also indicates that mobility tops the IT agenda and 66 percent of IT budgets will include more spending on mobile solutions in the next year.

What is driving investments in mobile technology? Most IT leaders cite productivity advantages (87 percent) and improving customer service and support (86 percent). Also high on the list is the need for real-time information (84 percent), which is important to Tim Walter, CIO of CrossCom National. The company’s workforce has become increasingly mobile, with employees working in multiple remote locations. “The ability of mobile devices to link into our systems is becoming more and more critical.”

Similarly, Michael Shannon, CIO at Dechert, a law firm, says his mobile investments are driven by a need to enable better business practices.

“[Mobile] basically allows you to do more, better, faster and stronger,” he says. “It’s not going to change the way lawyers practice law but it’s another convenient on-ramp to get their jobs done.”

The top mobile solutions IT leaders are eyeing include devices (71 percent), followed by security and data-management software (70 percent), applications (63 percent) and wireless services (62 percent). When making purchase decisions, IT leaders are nearly unanimous in considering ease of use first, followed by support, services, reliability and security.

And there are areas of concern, chief among them that ROI is hard to measure and mobile networks are vulnerable to attack. (See “Crunch,” Page 20.) Barbara Porter, CTO of FragranceNet.com, is taking a wait-and-see approach.

“The mobile space is still in its formative stages, and over time certain strategies will prove to be more successful than others,” she says.

Follow Editorial Assistant Lauren Brousell on Twitter: @lbrousell.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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