The number of smartphones being brought into financial services organizations will double over the coming year, while seven out of 10 executives agree that “the end is near for workplace desktops and laptops.”

Those are some of the takeaways of a new study of 400 IT professionals in financial services organizations, conducted by Ponemon Institute and sponsored by MobileIron. Seventeen percent of respondents were with insurance companies, and another 11 percent were with general-service firms.  The research found that the accelerating mobile demands of business units and end users are “triggering a tidal wave of disruption” that is shifting financial services CIOs to a new model of enterprise IT.

In the process, they study finds, “mobile is presenting operational, governance, and time-to-market challenges that traditional IT approaches were not designed to address.”

Also see 7 Auto Insurers Making Mobile App Inroads in Claims

The survey identified the following trends related to mobile computing in financial services workplaces:

1. The end is near for workplace desktops and laptops. “Sixty-nine percent of respondents say their CIOs believe smartphones and tablets will replace most desktops and laptops. As a result, 66 percent are committed to expanding the functionality of smartphones and tablets so that end users can do much more than just email.”

2. Smartphones in the workplace will double. The average number of smartphones in companies today is 7,430. Financial services executives project this to grow to almost 14,000 within the next year.

3. End-user satisfaction trumps security. “While 60 percent of CIOs believe smartphones and tablets are less secure than laptops, less than one-third of respondents say the CIO believes the security of smartphones and tablets is more important than end-user choices and preferences.”

4. Major increases in the use of mobile devices for business applications are predicted. Mobile won't be limited to email and text messaging, either. “On average, organizations will see an increase from 23 percent of employees to 42 percent.”

5. BYOD smartphones and tablets will increase. “Fifty-six percent of respondents say BYOD is permitted. Of those employees who are allowed to use their own devices, an average of 50 percent are permitted access the corporate intranet or apps. Today, an average of 40 percent of all smartphones and tablets in the companies represented in this study are BYOD. Next year, this is expected to increase to almost half (49 percent) of all devices used in the workplace.”

6. Most organizations do not have a mobile strategy. Half of the survey respondents say they have no mobile policy of any kind. “Of those organizations that have a strategy, 24 percent have a strategy for email and other business applications, 17 percent have a strategy for email only, and 9 percent of respondents say it is for business applications other than email,” the study finds.

Joe McKendrick is an author, consultant, blogger and frequent INN contributor specializing in information technology.

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