Mobility benefits put at risk by companies’ inattention to work-life balance and security issues

By the Economist Intelligence Unit

The research The personalisation challenge: business culture and mobile security, an Economist Intelligence Unit report, sponsored by HP Networking, indicates that companies still have considerable work to do to manage these cultural shifts, address the security issues and make policy changes. Those who overcome these challenges will reap the full benefits of the mobile revolution. The report includes a global survey of 316 executives conducted in January 2013 and in-depth interviews with mobility experts.

The key findings include:

• Employees and employers alike are embracing the benefits of a highly connected work style. Almost one-half (49%) of survey respondents say that using mobile devices boosts innovation, and many feel they are more on top of their jobs (39%) and more efficient (37%). They also say mobility is making their companies more dynamic and innovative (49%) and improving communications (42%). Organisational structures are becoming flatter and less hierarchical.

• Personal and work lives continue to blur—for good and ill. Today’s workers are embracing the flexibility, freedom and productivity improvements that come with mobility, but many struggle with the increased intrusion of work into personal time. Only 33% of respondents say their work-life balance has improved and a mere 29% believe that they set effective boundaries.

• Security knowledge is lacking. Executives are worried about mobile security and privacy, yet lack security knowledge, suggesting workplace training is inadequate. Communication of company policies is often passive and enforcement anaemic. More executives believe these policies reflect compliance needs (58%) than actual risks (49%), and nearly one in four (23%) admit to skirting the rules.

• Companies are embracing mobility, but offer limited support for personal devices. Some 58% of respondents say their company provides job-related mobile apps. Yet only 51% rate IT support for employee-owned mobile devices that are used for work as “strong” or “very strong”.

The report The personalisation challenge: business culture and mobile security is available free of charge at http://www.managementthinking.eiu.com/personalisation-challenge.html

Methodology

The Economist Intelligence Unit survey was carried out in January 2013. The 316 respondents were based in 57 countries, mainly in North America (29%), Asia-Pacific (29%) and Western Europe (27%). Sixty-four percent were from companies with annual revenue of US$1bn or more. Almost half of respondents (49%) were C-level executives, 20% held titles of vice president or the equivalent and 13% were senior managers. A wide range of industries were represented, with the top three being financial services (16%), energy and natural resources (10%) and manufacturing (9%).

About The Economist Intelligence Unit

The Economist Intelligence Unit is the world leader in global business intelligence. It is the business-to-business arm of The Economist Group, which publishes The Economist newspaper. As the world’s leading provider of country intelligence, The Economist Intelligence Unit helps executives make better business decisions by providing timely, reliable and impartial analysis on worldwide market trends and business strategies. More information about The Economist Intelligence Unit can be found at www.eiu.com or follow us on www.twitter.com/theeiu .

About HP

HP creates new possibilities for technology to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, governments and society. With the broadest technology portfolio spanning printing, personal systems, software, services and IT infrastructure, HP delivers solutions for customers’ most complex challenges in every region of the world. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com.

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