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As storm St Jude fades, UK business wakes up to need for mobile enterprise apps

In the aftermath of the St Jude's Day storm, UK business is waking up to the reality that mobile enterprise apps are increasingly becoming an essential part of modern life.

Independent industry analyst firm Ovum has issued a report showing how companies that invest in 'secure mobile enterprise' and 'cloud productivity apps' will grain greater resilience in the face of disaster, and more easily weather future storms.

Richard Absalom, an analyst at Ovum, said, "Many employees are already using cloud file sync and share applications to share files and documents between their various devices, better enabling them to work wherever they are and no matter what device they have in front of them."

Using this model, employees can maintain their levels of productivity whether they're working on "a corporate-provided laptop or their own tablet."

However, simply allowing employees to access company files remotely isn't sufficient to satisfy the exacting needs of employers and business managers.

If the employees are undertaking "informal, unmonitored activity," Absalom warned, "then it also presents a severe risk to businesses in terms of data protection. Giving employees access to services with similar functionality but business-grade security is key to any business continuity program."

The analyst recommends going one step further, however. Businesses that want to increase their resilience to sudden disturbances like St Jude must allow employees to use apps specifically designed to let them perform core tasks beyond email and document sharing on their smartphones and tablets, while maintaining the high levels of security expected by any responsible IT manager.

Ovum has found that this need has created an enormous boom in the supply side of enterprise mobility management (EMM), and that this rapid expansion has opened up a huge opportunity for developers and cloud platforms.

Ovum expects many more businesses to start deploying mobile enterprise apps over the next 12 months, meaning that the storms of the future – whether they're the normal wind-and-rain kind, or some unforeseen turbulence – will pose less of a problem to enterprise.

Image: Flickr (james_jhs)