This week the mobile enterprise explores group texting, iPads and more mobile security.

Texting: Not Just for Kids

Are you a texter? It’s not just for kids anymore. Thanks to iPhone's and Blackberry's and new mobile apps making it possible to text a group of people at once more and more people are entering the world of text. 

Group texting is a great tool for personal collaboration. It can be used with almost every situation, from making plans to gathering opinions. Free smartphone apps like Fast Society (iPhone), textPlus 4 (Apple and Android devices), BrightKite (Apple, Android and BlackBerry) and GroupMe (iPhone and, next month, Android) are among the apps that have emerged, making it easier and smarter to group text.

With group texting apps gaining popularity and helping people communicate with a group of friends, it may only be a short time until they find their way into the enterprise.

Going Beyond Mobile

According to a recent survey by Pyxis Mobile, companies are expanding beyond mobile applications for field services and sales people, to empower all employees. Pyxis Mobile attributes such growth to iPad and other tablets because of their ability to change the way the workforce operates. The survey results indicated that:

  • 68% of respondents anticipate businesses will have, on average, three or more enterprise-wide mobile applications by the year 2012.
  • The benefits of these applications will include increased productivity (87%), cost savings (68%) and simplified work processes (68%).
  • The majority of respondents (about two-thirds) preferred client-based applications over browser based applications because of their convenience and reliability.

Though 84% of respondents agreed that mobile security was a number-one priority for their enterprise, they also considered ease of use, speed, successful data integration, cost and the ability to reconfigure as top concerns. 

More Mobile Security Needed in the Enterprise

Speaking of mobile security, an expert panel at the Interop IT Conference and Expo in New York City expressed their concerns that IT security is failing to apply the same safeguards to their mobile devices and infrastructures.

Their concerns are the result of high-profile security breaches, an example being when the credit bureau, Equifax, had their laptops stolen and networks hacked. Adding mobile platforms into the mix makes security that much more important, as they often don't offer the security management features commonly found on business PCs and servers.

The expert panel suggests that in order to reduce mobile vulnerability, enterprises should limit the number of operating systems they support in order to achieve a manageable footprint. Such limits may mean that workers will have to settle for the BlackBerry instead of the coveted iPhone or Android phone -- at least until they begin to provide more controls to protect sensitive data.