UK local authorities last year issued almost four times the number of mobile devices than in 2010, according to research.
Software supplier Citrix today released the results of a Freedom of Information request which showed that 17 councils invested £672,000 in mobile phones and tablets last year, compared to £191,000 four years previously.
Extrapolating the data, Citrix estimated that overall, the number of devices issued in each year jumped from 2,525 to 8,932.
Jason Tooley, UK & Ireland country manager at Citrix, said: “Investing in mobile devices is certainly a step in the right direction, but there still remains a huge opportunity for local authorities to further embrace enterprise mobility by equipping employees with smartphones to securely access work data, tasks, emails and more while on the move or working remotely.
“Demand for remote and flexible working is clearly on the rise, but security and even costs of the handsets seem to be an issue for procurers.
“Buying habits indicate that smartphones with a reputation for being most secure – such as BlackBerry models – are high on the list.”
Of the 30,000 handsets issued since 2009, 11,063 – the highest number – were “basic” phones rather than smartphones, without access to emails, enterprise applications or cloud storage, Citrix found.
Apple iPhones feature low down the list in 14th place, with only 57 purchased by local authorities in the past six years.
By contrast, Apple iPads appear to be the tablet of choice, with 750 issued, compared with 583 Dell tablets and just 210 Samsung tablets.
Tooley said: “The restrictions placed on local authorities by the Public Services Network (PSN) and regulatory or compliance standards do not have to be a bottleneck to mobility. “With robust enterprise mobility solutions, local authorities have the opportunity to equip employees for real flexible working, by issuing them with smartphones or allowing them to bring their own devices into the workplace, while safeguarding valuable – and possibly sensitive – citizen data from getting into the wrong hands.”
|Position||Device (smartphone unless stated)||Number of devices issued since 2009|