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Android on the March in Business but Security a Concern, Says Research

The use of Android tablets and handhelds are on the rise in business but security remains a concern, according to the latest research from Panasonic Business.

On average, 72% of tablets and handheld devices in businesses (excluding mobile telephones) use the Android operating system. And with 60% of device buyers saying Android was still being integrated into their organisations, the number of devices is expected to rise with the majority seeing growth for the next three years.

The top three benefits of Android over other operating systems were said to be flexibility (59%), security (58%) and affordability (52%).

Security concerns
But businesses believe they should be security patching their devices much more; on average 4 times a year more than they currently do. The variety of methods to deploy security patches also varied with 66% relying on the IT department, 38% using a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution, 30% taking equipment manufacturer updates via Firmware over the air, 23% relying on the User, 22% using an IT support company and 16% using a reseller.

Functionality expectations
When it came to management capabilities in a business Android device, mobile buyers expected to see the following functionality as standard:

%
A customisable OS to meet the business’ requirements50
Android for Work47
Policy Management Tool/Console for firmware updates41
Enhanced Android Security support37
Incorporation of certified 3rd party security solution35
Free of charge, out of the box productivity and manageability apps35
Staging, EMM certifications, licences and customised MDM apps33
SCOMO Software Component management object30
Compatibility across different devices from the same manufacturer30
FOTO Firmware over the air29
Optional modular-based Developer package23

Update expectations
Businesses currently update their Android operating systems on each device an average of 5 times per year and they expect their device provider to support the Android operating system for up to 3 years after the end of device’s life.

Android devices not all equal
“The march of Android mobile devices into the business world continues apace but how IT departments effectively manage and secure these devices remains a challenge,” said Jan Kaempfer, General Manager for Marketing at Panasonic Computer Product Solutions. “It is important that buyers recognise that not all Android mobile devices are equal. They should look closely at the management and security functionality being offered by their vendor and their Android engineering experience. With the use of the latest over air updates and management consoles, IT departments can save considerable time and money automating their updates by choosing the right device with the right management and security functionality.”

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