Growth in phones, tablets outstripping ability of companies to manage them

IT is overwhelmed, but let the handhelds flow anyway, analysts say

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As the stories revealing iPhones take random photos when you're not looking attest, it's hard to keep any level of control over any kind of mobile systems.

Phones, tablets, laptops (VMs, I suppose) the smaller and more convenient they get, the more likely it is something horrible will happen to them.

For example, they could get sucked into the dimensional vortex that eliminates millions of work hours from the national economy every year simply by stealing your keys.

Even if they're not left in airports or between couch cushions, smartphones, tablets and other http://www.itworld.com/business/131210/byot-hype-or-a-hiring-dealbreaker

devices pose a huge and growing challenge to corporate IT departments, which are suddenly responsible for managing thousands of devices selected largely at the whim of the end user, configured to satisfy the needs of the service provider, changed or updated every six to 12 months rather than every 24 to 36, and are flooding into the market at a rate north of 450 million units per year.

Despite the influx of tablets to bolster the number of smartphones crowding into corporate IT, CIOs should by no means "make the same mistakes they made with smartphones, which were often written off early as expensive and frivolous toys, or executive status symbols."

Highly portable, powerful computing platforms whose data and networking abilities are generic enough to allow tremendous connectivity into pools of sensitive data and allow hordes of unregulated application development are a tremendous competitive advantage, according to Gartner.

That's despite the enormous cost of buying, tracking, integrating and securing the things, the total for which no analyst company has yet made a credible projection.

"Administering a traditional PC computing ecosystem centred around a single OS can cost thousands of dollars per employee per year. Supporting five times as many operating systems is unlikely to require fewer people and less money," according to consulting giant Deloitte's annual predictions for technology, media and telecom, which was published in January.

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