In an ERP mobility survey conducted by Sage in partnership with Datel, 193 decision makers within businesses were asked several questions geared towards understanding how mobile ERP would be, or currently is, implemented in their organisations.
The decision makers were predominantly in Finance Management and Director roles (63%) or IT Management and Director roles (24%). The scale of their businesses was fairly evenly balanced between companies with £5-£10 million turnover (33%), £10-£20 million (30%), £20-£50 million (26%) and £50-£100 million (11%).
The majority (86%) of businesses surveyed had a mobile workforce to some degree.
Most decision-makers surveyed were extremely concerned (40%) or slightly concerned (28%) about security issues stemming from mobile access. Comparably, very few were unconcerned or ambivalent.
When presented with a number of possible challenges they might experience for enabling mobile connectivity, 20% of businesses cited nervousness about security as their main challenge. This 20% was the most prominent concern across all possible options.
Offline mobile ERP access enables users to access the system without an internet connection, and subsequently synchronise their data when they go back online.
Most businesses (70.74%) do not currently have this access, and the majority of users (42.02%) would not like to have offline access to their ERP functions on mobile.
Interestingly, however, the majority (45.21%) of respondents said that they would like to have the ability to write data back to their ERP system from a mobile device.
The overwhelming majority of businesses do not have mobile access to their ERP systems, and are hesitant to take the steps to implement it. The predominant cause of this is nervousness surrounding the security element of providing staff with mobile access to such a sensitive source of data, and using potentially unsecure connections to access and update information, particularly when writing-back data after accessing it offline.
Decision-makers therefore need to overcome their underlying security concerns in order to accommodate their workforces and push their businesses forward; an issue confronted only by ensuring that a supported and secure ERP system is implemented.