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VMware study: Businesses in United Arab Emirates can take four weeks to get employees mobile-ready

VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW), the global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure, announced research revealing that it takes four weeks for the average IT department in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to equip staff and get them up and running with the mobility tools and applications they need to do their jobs. This time lag increases to eight weeks when it involves contract workers, possibly severely compromising the value employees can deliver upon entering an organisation.

The research by Vanson Bourne, commissioned by VMware , explores the implications this lack of mobile readiness brings across the business, as it impacts both IT departments and employees. Just 10 per cent of IT departments in the UAE, for example, believe they have all the mobile management capabilities to support staff’s mobile needs, while 40 per cent cannot control access to company information from all employee mobile devices.

Exploring this further, the research questioned both IT and employees on where responsibility should lie for mobile working policies. It found that IT departments across the UAE are undecided on the issue; only 27 per cent believe it’s their responsibility to restrict employees’ access to mobile tools and applications outside of working hours, yet 40% feel under pressure to do this and 52% admit that it’s now become necessary.

“With the pace of business today, taking three weeks to equip staff with the tools they need to work isn’t a viable option for organisations looking to survive and thrive in the mobile cloud era”, comments Sam Tayan, Regional Director, MENA, VMware. “Any delay in getting employees functioning at full speed may lead to businesses handing over competitive edge to others. Organisations need to empower employees to collaborate with whoever they require, from any location, at any time, while minimizing security risks.”

Employees, meanwhile, are more decided on the issue. 54 per cent do not agree that their employer should restrict access to mobile apps and tools. As it stands, the vast majority (81 per cent) state they do not yet have full access to the mobile tools needed to work as productively as they can, while almost half (43%) would circumvent the IT department to obtain the mobile tools needed to get the job done – demanding greater mobile enablement from the business, rather than further restrictions.

“The phrase ‘freedom within boundaries’ has never been more appropriate as the explosion of mobile devices and applications disrupts both end-user expectations and functional structures,” continues Tayan. “Organisations in the UAE cannot afford any ambiguity over who takes charge of mobile applications and tools in the business. Many employees now expect and require to determine how they work, so the challenge for IT is to cater to this, while also retaining adequate control over how information assets and business processes are used. This must be done centrally, in order to secure data, and not have business best practices compromised in any way.

“The good news is that technology is ready to do this today: VMware enterprise mobility solutions are helping organisations like Hertz and TUI transform how they enable users to work – providing secure, immediate access to the resources they need. To translate this potential into reality, many more businesses will need to embrace such solutions.”