Survey: Businesses disappointed with IT’s mobile development efforts

Mobile development is a key trend in technology and business right now, but IT and other departments are struggling to get on the same page, a new survey says. 

There’s little disagreement that mobile development is becoming a critical area for businesses. As smartphones become more popular, customers are turning to mobile websites and apps to connect with the companies they buy from.

And as companies adopt BYOD programs and more people use personal or corporate-issued smartphones and tablets in their jobs, IT departments must give users the tools they need to get work done on those mobile devices.

However, IT leaders and other execs disagree on how well the tech department is meeting those needs, according to “Fonts of innovation: Mobile development in the business,” a recent Economist Intelligence Unit report sponsored by Symantec.

Based on surveys and interviews with executives from IT and other areas, the report found that business leaders typically feel their companies’ IT teams are behind the curve when it comes to mobile development.

Among the non-IT execs surveyed, less than 10% believe IT is “highly innovative” when it comes to mobile technology.

Keys for mobile development plans

One way many IT departments can probably improve: Get more input from the rest of the organization.

More than 50% think the IT department is resistant to ideas that come from people in other areas. But as the consumerization of IT takes greater hold, IT will need to listen to more input from users to find ways to support their mobile work. And as more people use smartphones and tablets — and therefore gain some expertise in mobile technology — their ideas will have a lot of value for IT and it will pay off to listen.

The key is to make sure the IT pros working on the company’s mobile development strategy have a good understanding of customer needs and behaviors. That was the skill listed as most important for innovating with mobile technology, cited by 66% of non-IT executives.

Read our earlier post for more tips on creating a mobile development strategy.

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