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Mobile device trends in the enterprise: It's a numbers game

Learn how many apps the average user has and how many tablets you can expect in 2014.

NEW YORK -- The number of apps on personal devices that are used for work may surprise you, but not as much as the number of tablets versus PCs that are expected to ship next year.

As consumerization takes over enterprises, there are many statistics floating around that predict the future. Get some hard numbers on issues facing IT in the consumerization age in this roundup of this week's Consumerization of IT in the Enterprise (CITE) forum:

Four: The number of major mobile device trends happening in the consumerization of IT.

Scott Kirsner, a columnist at The Boston Globe, opened the CITE forum with a rundown of the four trends dictating consumerization in the enterprise: the new mobile user experience, social collaboration, big data and cloud computing. They're are all tied to increasing user productivity, Kirsner said.

"At the end of the day, it's all about getting stuff done," said Stephen Orban, chief information officer at Dow Jones & Company Inc.

1,600 million: The number of units of tablets expected to ship in 2014.

That's compared with only 400 million units of PCs expected to ship that year, according to IDC data presented by Jon Herstein, senior vice president at Box, a cloud-based file sharing service. Gartner Inc.'s prediction is even lower -- it expects worldwide PC shipments to total just 303 million units in 2013, an 11.2% decline from 2012, a number predicted to be even lower next year.

While most people agree that the PC won't be dead anytime soon, it's clear that many more employees will want to access corporate data from tablets. That means IT needs to make sure their networks are ready and put BYOD policies in place that provide specific security measures.

The problem is, many applications aren't fit for mobile usage yet. Neopost ID America provides software for small-scale retailers with shipping needs, but the company may need to re-engineer the app for it to work well on mobile devices.

"When we first designed this application, we never took into account the smaller form factor," said Ravi Vankayala, director of software development at Neopost.

1990s: The decade cloud computing emerged.

Even IT pros might be surprised to hear that the concept of cloud has been around as far back as the late '90s. Compared with Apple Inc.'s iPhones, which have only been around for six years, cloud is the more mature technology.

"Cloud enables a lot of the mobile capabilities," Herstein said. "There's a lot of integration between the two."

Another major benefit of cloud services is that Software as a Service products have trial periods, so customers can give it a try before buying. That means IT can make a purchasing decision each year based on whether the service is still working for the organization, Herstein said.

Still, another statistic throws a wrench in those benefits: Only about half of respondents in a global Ponemon Institute survey said they are confident in a cloud provider's ability to protect their data, and 35% said their use of cloud has decreased security.

41: The average number of apps on a user's smartphone.

Forget about bring your own device; it's now a bring your own app (BYOA) world, Eric Bisceglia, senior director of product marketing at LogMeIn, said in his general session, citing a survey of small and medium-sized businesses. And many of those apps are likely to be used for work.

"This is what consumerization is all about -- the merging of company-gifted and consumer-adopted," Bisceglia said.

In fact, the number of enterprise-relevant apps in app stores has doubled over the past year, Herstein said. Employees are adopting BYOA because these apps are purpose-built for specific tasks, but for them to keep using the apps, they need to be "emotive" and make people have a connection with them, Bisceglia said.

Two-thirds: The amount of consumer-introduced apps that IT adopts.

In a survey of employee-introduced apps in the workplace, more than two-thirds of the apps consumers brought into the organization were later adopted by IT and became standards within the company, according to Bisceglia. Users introduced them, and IT saw the benefits.

"Everything has to come from the user base," said Neopost's Vankayala. "The demand has to be there."

Of course, IT simply can't adopt every app that consumers want to use for work due to security or network traffic reasons, Bisceglia said.

44%: The percentage of users that are unaware their company has a BYOD policy.

For some users, that's because their company doesn't have one. What's worse is when the company does have a policy but users aren't aware of it, said Joshua Konvisser, a partner at law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, during a breakout session.

"It's almost better to not have a policy than to have a policy that you don't enforce," he said.

A legally sound BYOD policy is enforceable, lays out parameters for when and where people can access corporate data, and provides rules in plain English with concrete examples, Konvisser said. Most importantly, employees must be notified of what IT is monitoring or managing.

Still, the legal issues surrounding BYOD can be complicated when personal and work data are on same device. For instance, workers in certain industries must take two-week vacations, but how do you prevent them from using their device to do corporate work during that time? IT must also monitor hourly workers, who may end up requiring overtime payment if they check their phone after work.

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