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The corporate benefits from wider mobile use are being put at risk by companies' "inattention to the work-life balance" of executives and security issues, according to research from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

The proliferation of mobile devices is "upending our sense of work-life balance", fanning executive anxieties about security and privacy, and forcing IT departments to overhaul their information security approaches, according to EIU.

Its report 'The personalisation challenge: business culture and mobile security', sponsored by HP Networking, was based on a global survey of 320 executives and in-depth interviews with mobility experts.

The EIU said: "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."

According to the survey almost half (49%) 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 is "improving communications" (42%). The EIU says organisational structures are becoming flatter and less hierarchical as a result.

But many executives 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 they set effective boundaries.

Executives are also 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", said the EIU. 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, say executives. Some 58% of respondents say their company provides job-related mobile apps. Yet only 51% rate IT support for employee-owned mobile devices used for work as “strong” or “very strong”.