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IT and the Business Don't See Eye to Eye When It Comes to Mobile Innovation

New Study From Symantec and Economist Intelligence Unit Highlights Importance of Mobile Development to Competitiveness

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 01/09/13 -- Symantec Corp. (NASDAQ: SYMC) today announced the results of the study "Fonts of Innovation - Mobile Development in the Business," exploring the topic of mobile innovation within an organization in EMEA. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), who wrote the report, as more business is conducted using smart mobile technologies, companies' competitiveness increasingly hinges on their ability to continuously generate new ideas for mobile development. The innovation net within organizations is starting to spread widely thanks to the "consumerization" and "bring-your-own-device" trends, in which employees use their own devices and applications at work. The study points, however, to a rift between the IT function and the rest of the business when it comes to mobile development. Fewer than 10 percent of non-IT respondents to the survey believe their IT colleagues are "highly innovative" in this realm.

The study, published today by the EIU and sponsored by Symantec, points to other areas of conflict. Over one-half of the survey respondents believe IT departments are actually resistant to any new mobile ideas other parts of the business might have. These tensions appear to run highest in financial services firms. Sixty-two percent of the respondents from this sector say IT departments push back against ideas that come from other parts of the organization. Indeed, nearly half (46 percent) of IT employees from across all sectors admit this to be the case.

"Consumerization and the take-up of bringing your own devices or apps have led to smart devices and mobile technology truly permeating businesses, and this will continue to have a considerable impact on organizations," says Greg Day, Security CTO for Symantec in EMEA. "Mobile innovation will help to drive business success in an organization and will require collaboration between IT and the business regarding the broad topic of technology and smart devices in particular."

Key findings from the research include the following:

  • A rift exists between IT and non-IT professionals when it comes to mobile innovation. Less than 10 percent of non-IT respondents believe IT is "highly innovative" in this area. Over one-half think the IT function is resistant to new mobile ideas emanating from elsewhere. This tension runs especially deep among financial services firms.

  • Sources of innovative ideas differ depending on the types of services involved. The IT department appears to be the main initiator within the organization of ideas to improve employees' mobile working. When it comes to using mobile technology to improve interaction with customers, however, sales and marketing emerge as the main sources of ideas.

  • Sign of hope: IT no longer isolated. A hopeful sign is that IT departments appear much less isolated within organizations than previously. Around one-third of survey respondents say that the IT function is "extremely collaborative" in developing mobile services, while only 13 percent thought this was the case two years ago.

  • The answer lies in collaboration. Amid all the evidence of tension between IT and the business, there is a clear recognition from all quarters that delivering genuine mobile innovation requires the active collaboration of both IT and non-IT staff.

"Competition often helps to encourage better innovation but could be counterproductive if it means IT and the business are closed to each other's ideas for mobile development," says Denis McCauley, Director, Global Technology Research at the Economist Intelligence Unit and editor of the report. "Genuine collaboration in mobile innovation is imperative," he says, adding that the onus is probably on IT for making innovation work.

Additional Resources

Symantec Mobile Solutions
Symantec App Center Ready Program
Symantec Total Mobile Story
White Paper: Exploiting the Business Potential of BYOD
Blog: Enabling BYOD without sacrificing protection
Blog: The Current State of Mobile Malware

About Symantec
Symantec is a global leader in providing security, storage and systems management solutions to help consumers and organizations secure and manage their information-driven world. Our software and services protect against more risks at more points, more completely and efficiently, enabling confidence wherever information is used or stored. More information is available at www.symantec.com

About the Economist Intelligence Unit
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) is the world's leading resource for economic and business research, forecasting and analysis. It provides accurate and impartial intelligence for companies, government agencies, financial institutions and academic organisations around the globe, inspiring business leaders to act with confidence since 1946. EIU products include its flagship Country Reports service, providing political and economic analysis for 195 countries, and a portfolio of subscription-based data and forecasting services. The company also undertakes bespoke research and analysis projects on individual markets and business sectors. More information is available at www.eiu.com or follow us on www.twitter.com/theeiu

Notes for editors
Fonts of innovation: Mobile development in the business is an Economist Intelligence Unit white paper, sponsored by Symantec. The analysis is based on a global online survey conducted in September-October 2012, in which 280 executives from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa took part. Survey respondents were drawn from both the IT function (23% of the sample) and the wider business (77%). All respondents were at a senior management level, with 33% from the board or C-suite. Respondents hailed from a wide range of industries, with financial services (18%), technology (13%) and manufacturing firms (12%) being particularly prominent. Over one-half (55%) of firms polled had annual revenue of over US$500m, while about one-quarter (24%) had revenue of US$5bn or more.

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Spencer Parkinson
Symantec Corp.
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