Sales of Internet-enabled mobile phones are forecast to surpass that for PCs for the first time this year, clear evidence of the degree to which individual consumers have taken to mobile computing.

Though difficult to gauge from an overall perspective, market researchers at MarketsandMarkets estimate the BYOD and enterprise mobility markets will grow at a 15% constant annual growth rate (CAGR), from $67 billion in 2011 to $181 billion by 2017.

Besides sizable opportunities and benefits, enabling enterprise mobility and facilitating BYOD can pose big challenges, and potential problems, for an organization’s managers and IT/telecom staff. Issues center primarily on controlling information access, flows and security, according to mobile industry association CompTIA’s second annual “Trends in Enterprise Mobility” report, which was release this past April.

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As CompTIA report authors highlight, “The most cutting-edge technology is now being created with the consumer in mind rather than being developed for business purposes, and that technology is coming into the enterprise through the back door.

“For most IT departments, shutting off this behavior is neither practical nor desirable – the benefits that come as a result of enabling workers on mobile devices are too great to disregard…

“The multifaceted mobility ecosystem presents many challenges to IT professionals, who must cede control in several areas to implement mobility solutions. The IT professionals and solution providers that can address these challenges will be able to tap into a growing market.”

CompTIA surveyed over 500 IT and business execs in compiling its latest enterprise mobility report.

A new, accompanying infographic – “BYOD Uncovered” – highlights BYOD’s rapid growth and perceived benefits while also highlighting shortcomings and pitfalls. Among the findings:

  • While 66% of companies allow or require employees to bring their own mobile devices to work, 34% do not. As CompTIA notes, “Plenty of businesses are saying ‘No’ to BYOD in an attempt to prevent IT department complications and, surprisingly keep costs down.”
    • 39% of companies that provide devices do so to standardize and consolidate IT support
    • 31% find it more cost effective than giving out device stipends
  • A majority of companies have moved past the “early adoption” phase of enterprise mobility.
    • 13% of survey respondents said there is heavy mobile integration in their company (e.g. custom mobile business apps)
    • 45% said there was moderate integration, such as cloud-based software that supports apps, and
  • 36% said there is minor mobility integration in their companies, e.g. checking email
  • The top 3 barriers to implementing enterprise mobility strategies?
    • 40% cited mobility skill level of general staff
    • 39% cited securing systems’ accessibility, and
    • 35% said the biggest barrier is determining the cost or ROI of mobile solutions

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