67% of US small businesses ‘unfamiliar’ with MDM

67% of US small businesses ‘unfamiliar’ with MDM

Despite a host of businesses allowing their staff to use personal devices, many are unaware of mobile device management (MDM) technology.

A survey conducted by CDW found that 79 per cent of the companies questioned have deployed smartphones to at least some workers, but 67 per cent of IT managers are unfamiliar with the software that is available to manage the devices.

Only 22 per cent of those who were familiar with MDM tools have deployed or plan to deploy it, which could leave them open to the loss of sensitive information.

MDM tools allow companies the facility to wipe any sensitive corporate data from devices that are lost or stolen.

CDW also found that almost all small businesses believe that mobile devices make them more efficient, even though they pose a host of security and management challenges. Three-quarters of the companies questioned said that the use of personal devices is "critical" to their job.

Jill Billhorn, CDW vice president, small business, said: "CDW's report says that small business users consider productivity and business apps on mobile devices to be game changers that make them more efficient and competitive."

Sixty-seven percent of respondents said their companies would lose competitive ground in today's market without mobile devices.

One of the main advantages highlighted by the respondents to the survey was improved communication between field and office personnel, with 60 per cent also claiming that the devices helped increase availability to customers.

Additionally, 35 per cent said that mobile devices improved work and life balance, with 34 per cent saying that the introduction of the technology helped to streamline the business process.

The study also found that 89 per cent of employees within small businesses who utilise mobile devices use products they have purchased, rather than being supplied with a smartphone or tablet by their employers.

CDW said that 55 per cent of respondents said their companies have started to distribute tablets to some workers. Thirty-six percent of the IT managers surveyed revealed some employees have replaced their laptop or desktop computer with a smartphone or tablet.