Mobile Era's Weakest Link: IT Support - InformationWeek

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12/14/2005
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Mobile Era's Weakest Link: IT Support

Hip executives may boast about their real-time alert systems and anytime-access dashboards, but chances are their IT departments haven't developed a clear strategy, robust infrastructure or appropriate support for mobile computing.

Hip executives may boast about their real-time alert systems and anytime-access dashboards, but chances are their IT departments haven't developed a clear strategy, robust infrastructure or appropriate support for mobile computing. That's the conclusion of "The Remote Revolution: Uptime Issues, Implications & Imperatives in the Mobile Workforce," a study released December 12 by the Business Performance Management (BPM) Forum and Avaya.

Of the more than 400 BPM Forum members polled, 71 percent said the percentage of remote workers is increasing at their companies, and 86 percent said their IT departments are being pressured to support mobile workers. Yet 41 percent also said end users can't access live help-desk support without frustrating delays, and an equal number reported they had suffered business disruptions due to ineffective technical support.

"There's clearly a growing wave of demand for mobile and remote user support, but if companies don't develop clear strategies, that wave is going to come crashing down on their heads," says Chris Kenton, BPM Forum program director and author of the report. "Too many firms are letting users define policy. Executives bring in new devices and ask for support. Each technology introduces new risks."

One obvious security threat is that mobile devices are easily lost or stolen, potentially exposing corporate or customer data. And as users and applications grow dependent on mobile access, inadequate IT support becomes a problem. More than 55 percent rated the quality of their IT support at a C grade or lower, and the vast majority said their help-desk support is limited to regular or slightly extended business hours. Sixty two percent said their primary strategy for supporting remote and mobile workers is using automated troubleshooting, help-desk and remote diagnosis technologies.

IDC predicts the mobile workforce will surpass 878 million globally by 2009.


M-Business Anywhere 6.0

Sybase's iAnywhere subsidiary has released M-Business Anywhere 6.0, an update of the company's mobile app development platform. The upgrade features Web services integration support, Asian localization (adding to English, French, Italian, Spanish and German clients) and improvements for remote client management and upgrades that let administrators specify upgrade rules.

HP OpenView Management Software

Promising better insight and control over IT service delivery, HP's OpenView Management Software has added Dashboard 1.0 for real-time views of IT system health and Business Process Insight 2.0 for monitoring and reporting on processes and metrics. The OpenView Service Desk 5.0 features improved reporting and a "Webstart" tool for simplified deployment.

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