Despite the multiple benefits that enterprise mobility offers to end users -- including opportunities for employees to do their jobs faster and more effectively whenever and wherever they happen to be --mobile app adoption continues to remain stubbornly low across a wide swath of industries and geographies.
Although a number of factors contribute to these challenges, the chief reasons behind low mobile app adoption rates center on mobile security, privacy concerns and ease of access. It’s critical to identify the root causes behind these issues before looking at the effective remedies.
The Roots of Low Adoption
Security and privacy concerns continue to remain top-of-mind for many employees. A 2013 study conducted by TRUSTe reveals that 22 percent of US consumers cite privacy as their greatest concern with using mobile apps. Moreover, 78 percent of consumers refuse to download a mobile app they don’t trust. Since bring your own device (BYOD) can be reasonably viewed as an extension of the consumerization of technology, it’s not surprising that employees often don’t trust the security of corporate apps.
These concerns carry several side effects. Employees who are using their own devices worry that enterprise mobile applications may leave their own personal data vulnerable. Plus, some employees who take the long view don’t want to be held responsible for any corporate data leakage resulting from their use of enterprise apps.
Second, too many companies have made it difficult for employees to locate and download apps that can help them do their jobs more easily. According to Dimension Data’s Secure Enterprise Mobility Report, 61 percent of global employees are unable to access business apps using their personal devices.
Address Employee Concerns
The best starting point for addressing employee concerns about security and privacy, as well as the accessibility of apps, is by creating formal communications programs around enterprise mobility. It’s critical for senior management to endorse the company’s enterprise mobility efforts and highlight the personal productivity benefits by offering clear examples that are backed up by research. This can include discussions and examples that can be shared regarding enterprise-wide apps which allow employees to keep up with industry trends while facilitating networking with clients and colleagues.
As part of these efforts, it’s just as important to clearly and frequently communicate to employee groups how personal data on their devices will be protected and segregated from corporate data and apps. Clearly conveying to workers how the privacy of their personal data and apps is shielded from corporate data and apps through the use of a mobile app lifecycle management platform can help employees to better understand the steps that a company is taking to separate private information and safeguard the data that’s used and stored on their devices. Doing so in plain and understandable terms can help foster employee trust in enterprise mobility programs and strengthen adoption.
Of course, employees won’t even know what apps are available and how they can be accessed without providing them an explicit roadmap to help them discover and download apps intended for their specific roles. Regularly publicizing the availability of an enterprise app store, along with new apps that have been added, updates on app downloads and success stories through company newsletters, corporate Intranets, town hall meetings and other communications vehicles is a great way to increase mobile app adoption.