CIOs and other IT executives are watching the number of mobile workers within in their enterprises increase rapidly, and along with that growth comes larger demand for mobilised business applications and devices that support them.

But many IT departments are struggling to manage this plethora of Web-enabled devices, and they're looking to mobile operators for assistance with their mobile device management (MDM) efforts, according to a recent study.

Mformation, a provider of mobile MDM technologies, commissioned market research firm Coleman Parkes to conduct the survey of 200 CIOs and telecommunications directors from U.S. and European Global Fortune 500 organisations. The research was conducted during March and April 2007.

95% of CIOs surveyed are currently seeking a new way to manage their mobile devices and applications. 45% of those technology executives want assistance from mobile operators in managing those devices. Two thirds, 62%, said they would ditch their current operator for a competitor if it had a comprehensive MDM offering.

"Clearly, very real opportunities exist for mobile operators to provide value-added device management services for enterprise customers, increasing their competitive advantage," said Matt Bancroft, Mformation CMO, in a press release. "There is a significant opportunity for operators to help enterprises with the challenges and complexities associated with mobile device management."

Among the study's other findings:

  • 85% of the US companies surveyed think mobile operators should perform some MDM function, but almost 60% said they would prefer an arrangment in which their own IT departments have direct control over all mobile assets.
  • 74% of the US organisations queried said they have bumped up investment in data and system security in recent days; 71% have increased investments in staff education; and 66% are spending more cash on network monitoring and other security systems than in the past, according to the survey.
  • Key device management concerns include the ability to provide a high degree of device and network security and the ability to remotely support users, so issues with devices are resolved quickly, technology is constantly updated and support costs are kept as low as possible.
  • 60% of study participants said they are not pleased with their current mobile operators' MDM offerings.

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