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The proliferation of mobile devices is driving an array of positive changes in workplace culture and how we work. But these always-on mini-computers are also upending our sense of “work-life” balance, fanning executive anxieties about security and privacy, and forcing IT departments to overhaul their information-security approaches, according to The personalisation challenge: business culture and mobile security, an Economist Intelligence Unit report, sponsored by HP Networking.


The research, which includes a global survey of 316 executives conducted in January 2013 and in-depth interviews with mobility experts, indicates that companies still have considerable work to do to manage these cultural shifts, address the security issues and make policy changes. Those who overcome these challenges will reap the full benefits of the mobile revolution.

The key findings include:

Employees and employers alike are embracing the benefits of a highly connected work style. Almost one-half (49%) of survey respondents say that using mobile devices boosts innovation, and many feel they are more on top of their jobs (39%) and more efficient (37%). They also say mobility is making their companies more dynamic and innovative (49%) and improving communications (42%). Organisational structures are becoming flatter and less hierarchical.

Personal and work lives continue to blur—for good and ill. Today’s workers are embracing the flexibility, freedom and productivity improvements that come with mobility, but many struggle with the increased intrusion of work into personal time. Only 33% of respondents say their work-life balance has improved and a mere 29% believe that they set effective boundaries.

Security knowledge is lacking. Executives are worried about mobile security and privacy, yet lack security knowledge, suggesting workplace training is inadequate. Communication of company policies is oftenpassive and enforcement anaemic. More executives believe these policies reflect compliance needs (58%) than actual risks (49%), and nearly one in four (23%) admit to skirting the rules.

Companies are embracing mobility, but offer limited support for personal devices. Some 58% of respondents say their company provides job-related mobile apps. Yet only 51% rate IT support for employee-owned mobile devices that are used for work as “strong” or “very strong”.

The personalisation challenge: business culture and mobile security
is available free of charge at