Research: Mobile working on the increase

Summary:An exclusive survey has revealed that nearly two-thirds of companies are seeing an increasing proportion of mobile workers

Executive summary:

  • The penetration of mobile workers across the UK workforce is significant, with a broad spread of mobility uncovered in the organisations we researched. Nearly a quarter of organisations considered more than half of their staff to be mobile workers.
  • Mobility continues its upward trend, with nearly two-thirds of our research sample reporting an increasing proportion of mobile workers.
  • Looking at current and future use by type of mobile device across the research base:
    - Simple mobile phones are almost universally used
    - Laptops with mobile connectivity are also widely deployed: more than four-fifths of respondent organisations are already using these, with a further six percent expecting to apply these devices over the next two years.
    - Use of BlackBerry devices was reported by 44 percent of respondents, with a further 12 percent anticipating deployment in the near future.
    Over half of all respondent enterprises have one or more of the other main types of email capable device in use, with around one-third of the research base using mobile phone with email, and/or PDA with email, and/or smartphone with email. A further 10 to 15 percent expect to deploy one of these technologies over the coming two years.
    - Use of a basic PDA is still significant, although increased penetration in the near future is likely to be modest. PDAs with mobile voice and data connectivity are expected to see higher growth, but from a smaller base of user organisations.
  • When asked to select the single mobile device respondents found most useful, the laptop with mobile connectivity came top of the list. More than a third chose this as their favoured device.
  • Senior managers are the main users of mobile devices, with approaching 80 percent of the research base reporting deployment at this level. Other key users are the core mobile functions of sales and service engineers.
  • There is a broad spread in the numbers of mobile products in use across the research base. Almost a quarter of organisations have fewer than five handheld mobile devices (excluding simple mobile phones); however, some have 1,000 or more.
  • The main applications in current use are voice, email, SMS, internet access, data communications and electronic diary/calendar/personal organiser. These were all reported by 60 percent or more of the research base. Other important applications are personal directory, instant messaging and global positioning systems (GPS), used by between a quarter and two-fifths.
  • Highest near-term potential for applications growth (in new organisations wishing to deploy) are mobile videoconferencing, GPS, database applications, instant messaging and access to the company CRM, together with the collaborative applications of presence, shared workspace and whiteboarding.
  • Of the technical features available on handheld devices, most significant in use were Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity (around two-thirds of respondents), high-speed internet access and high-speed data communications. A full Qwerty keyboard, the ability to work across multiple networks and the provision of a large-screen display were available to around two-fifths to one-third of the research sample.
  • Technical features with the strongest potential for growth (in new organisations wishing to deploy) are:
    - High-speed data communications
    - High-speed internet access
    - Devices that will work on multiple networks
    - Fixed/mobile integration
  • The main advantages in using a laptop over handheld mobile devices were reported to be:
    - The large display, and hence ability to view and work with detailed documents
    - A full-size keyboard
    - The ability to access MS Office applications and applications/documents available at the desktop

Topics: Tech Industry

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