The week in the mobile enterprise, mobile traffic soars, while the policies that govern mobile initiatives are questioned.


US Mobile Traffic Mirrors Demand

According to Chetan Sharma Consulting, the US wireless data market grew 25% in the third quarter of 2010 compared to Q3 2009. We have the growing demand for smartphones to thank, of course. Assuming that such growth continues, and there’s no reason to think that it won’t, the total US mobile data traffic is expected to exceed 1 exabyte for the first time by the end of 2010.

Lookout! Protect Your Data

All this talk of mobile and data growth, means that security will continue to be an issue, as well. So it’s not a surprise that Lookout, a smartphone security company, is expanding its cloud-based security service for smartphones to include the ability to wipe or lock lost phones, backup photos, and find out what information installed apps are accessing on the device.

The new Lookout Premium service will cost US$ 2.99 a month, or US$ 29.99 a year, and offer a free version, full of basics like antivirus, antimalware, backup and restoration of contacts, web-based console management, as well as the ability to locate a lost phone via an online map and to force a "scream" on the device to help locate it in the event it is misplaced.

Such security comes as the results of a recent survey found that more than 90% of consumers are concerned with the privacy of the data on their phone and only 7% of smartphone users feel extremely confident that they understand what private data is being accessed on the phone.

On average, users have 31 apps on their phones that can access their identity information, 19 apps that access their location, and five apps that access SMS and MMS messages. Such data puts things in perspective, making you wonder why more people don’t lookout!

Employees, IT and Their Policies

Recently Cisco commissioned a survey of 2,600 workers and IT pros in 13 countries in an effort to learn how connected IT, employees and the policies that govern them are. As it turns out there aren’t very. You might not think that this has anything to do with mobile, but the prevalence of smart technologies within the enterprise, including smartphones, is among the challenges facing today's IT departments.

The survey showed that two-thirds of workers said their companies need to improve their IT policies, while at the same time, 20% of IT professionals said their relationship with employees is "strained and dysfunctional."

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that IT and employees aren’t playing well with each other, surveys like this help to emphasize the need for improved IT policies that reflect real-world expectations and work styles, including those that appropriately manage device usage, social media, mobility and work flexibility.

As we enter the dawn of the empowered employee, companies will soon learn that having out of date policies hurt more than their bottom lines. The survey found that restrictive policies can also lead to a revolt by workers. Overall, only 34% of workers said they adhere to their company's IT policy all of the time, while 56% said they adhere to it most of the time.