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Research Examines Android for Enterprise Apps

Research firm IDC has published a sponsored whitepaper examining the use of Android devices in the enterprise, where Google's flagship mobile OS fights security-related perceptions in its battle with Apple's iOS for business market share.

The report, sponsored by Android creator Google, tackles the security perception issue head on, stating that IDC data finds "no correlation between device OS types and frequency of mobile security incidents involved."

Security issues, though, have long plagued Android, which has a more open architecture than iOS, making for an uphill battle in enterprise penetration. That uphill battle is acknowledged in the IDC report that cites the findings of an earlier mobility study, stating "among businesses that deploy corporate smartphones, Apple iOS is the predominant brand of devices businesses hand out to employees. This is also reflected in device shipments -- among the 11.8 million business smartphones shipped in the U.S. in 2016, 57 percent were iOS vs 41 percent Android based on IDC research."

The IDC whitepaper -- Android for Enterprise: Digital Transformation Opportunity -- blames media in part for Android security perceptions.

"Reports in the media and blogosphere also create a negative perception around Android," it states. "News of the latest Android kernel exploits, with ominous-sounding code names -- Stagefright, QuadRooter, Dirty COW -- spread quickly. Whether a real threat or not, cumulative reports on the weakness of Android OS code and apps, or overall mistrust of software downloaded from Android app stores, can stick in the minds and perceptions of many IT decision-makers."

In addition to security, the whitepaper also examines "flexibility and availability, and management/administration functionality in the context of modern mobile workers' attitudes around control, privacy and ease-of-use."

In a conclusion, the whitepaper states: "the security, flexibility and manageability of Android make it a strong choice for standardization and/or pervasive mobile deployment for businesses across a wide range of industries and diverse a set of use cases."

Android Taking Off in the Enterprise
[Click on image for larger view.] Android Taking Off in the Enterprise (source: Google/IDC)

Google also pointed to its sponsored IDC infographic (part of which is shown in the above graphic) that purports to show "Android Taking Off in the Enterprise." It states "An IDC survey of 250 enterprise mobility decision-makers shows strong Android adoption across a range of industries." It also addresses the security issue, stating: "Security incidents are less frequent in Android-majority enterprises compared to iOS-majority deployments."

A May 21 Google blog post lists some of the key findings:

  • 74 percent of U.S.-based IT decision makers believe Android Enterprise Recommended devices are more secure and enterprise-grade than iOS devices. A recently released Gartner report details Android security performance.
  • 77 percent of U.S.-based multinational firms prefer Android devices.
  • Android-majority deployments have a higher satisfaction rate than a mixed or iOS-only fleet.
  • Android-majority enterprises experience eight percent fewer mobile phishing incidents, and five percent fewer issues integrating mobile devices with back end systems.

"Mobility is key to building a connected workforce that can tackle today's complex business challenges," the Google blog post states. "According to recently-published IDC research, mobile platforms need to offer hardware choice, multi-layered security, and comprehensive management capabilities to enable digital transformation."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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