The use of smartphones and laptops is widespread among enterprises, with nearly three out of every four organizations issuing corporate-owned laptops (74 percent) and smartphones (71 percent) to their workforces, according to a new report from Frost & Sullivan.

Tablets are issued by only 47 percent organizations surveyed, the report says, but this percentage is expected to rise over the next three years as many of the more data-intensive mobile applications migrate over to tablets.

The study, “The Future of Mobile Devices from a Customer Perspective — United States and Europe,” forecasts that by 2016 the use of smartphones will drop from the current levels of 66 percent to 58 percent, while tablets rise from 49 percent to 56 percent.

While nearly 60 percent of organizations allow personal devices to be connected to corporate networks, only 40 percent of IT decision-makers say their company has a formal bring-your-own-device policy in place.

A much higher share of large enterprises (58 percent) have a formal BYOD policy than small companies (20 percent), said Karolina Olszewska, Frost & Sullivan research analyst. The most common method of enforcing BYOD policies is through network technology solutions, followed by mobile device management.

While the banking, finance and insurance sectors have been the most prominent users of smart phones for business purposes among the verticals surveyed, in the tablet segment, manufacturing was at the top.

Overall, 62 percent of the workforce is traditional, working at office locations, and mobile workers account for 22 percent and remote workers the remaining 16 percent, Olszewska said. "Although this trend is not expected to change drastically within the next three years, the number of in-office workers is expected to decrease, while remote and mobile workers are expected to increase, signifying greater opportunities for smartphone and tablet makers," he said.

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