Forrester: Surface drumming up more demand with global mobile workforce

Forrester: Surface drumming up more demand with global mobile workforce

Summary: While many of them might not have gone out and actually bought Surface tablets yet, Microsoft's creation is stirring up plenty of interest with mobile employees worldwide.


Apple's iOS and Google's Android mobile operating systems will be the major suppliers to the enterprise mobile workforce, but Microsoft still has a fighting chance -- at least as far as tablets are concerned.

That's one of the findings from Forrester Research's second annual Forrsights Workforce Employee Survey, a global survey of information workers, which the firm described as "people who use a computer to do their jobs an hour or more a day."

Honing in on the mobile workforce and related adoption trends, researchers surveyed nearly 10,000 global information workers across 16 countries.

Asserting that working anywhere, anytime is "the new normal," the report further defined an employee of the mobile workforce as someone working from multiple locations and using three or more devices for work. Forrester asserted that 29 percent of the global workforce now fits this description, up from 23 percent in 2011.

One of the major revelations from the report is that at least interest in and demand for the Microsoft Surface is relatively high.

Despite the fact that only two percent of respondents said they are using Windows tablets for work right now, approximately 32 percent replied that they would like one for their next work tablet.


Thus, Forrester researchers are predicting that 200 million information workers globally will want a Windows tablet as their next work tablet.

But as smartphones go, Forrester's findings reflect that this a battle between only Android and iOS at this point.

Forrester is especially optimistic for the iPhone, citing that while 16 percent of information workers are using the iOS handheld for work now, 33 percent said it would be their next work phone.

Forrester also offered some direct advice to chief information officers -- much of which boils down to open communication with employees, which can then be applied to everything from which mobile apps to install to cloud sync sharing services:

CIOs can prioritize their device and app investments by walking a mile in employees’ shoes. Build a very deep marketing understanding of who your employees are and what they use technology for. Start with a simple segmentation of employees’ mobile and application requirements so you can provision the right services on the right devices based on business outcomes, not just on intuition.

Images via Forrester Research

Topics: Mobility, Apps, Cloud, Collaboration, Bring Your Own Device

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  • Like me...

    It has work for me. combined with the remote desktop feature....
  • Forrester: Surface drumming up more demand with global mobile workforce

    No surprise the demand is there for Microsoft Surface. Its the logical device to use with a mobile work force. Your office runs on Microsoft Windows so should your mobile users. You won't have to worry about application compatibility. Throw in some form of remote desktop and you got some remote users ready to work.
    • +1

      Ram U
    • Re: No surprise the demand is there for Microsoft Surface.

      I thought you said tablets are a fad!
  • Question: Does the survey specifically mention Surface or Windows tablets?

    I see this happen all to often in tech articles. Any talk of a windows mobile devices gets translated into one specific product, Microsoft Surface.
    • I would image....

      ....that they are refering to all Windows Tablets, not just Surface. Just like there is not just 1 iPad or 1 Android tablet.
  • Android and iOS is a temporary phenomenon

    iPad and Andorid will be kicked out from the Enterprise pretty soon because they have nothing to offer from a business perspective. Enterprise users are tolerating it because there are no alternatives , but that has changed now. Surface and MS partners will have the long term future in the enterprise tablet and smart phone space. Windows Phone will be feature complete by the upcoming Apollo+ release and Win 8 / RT will reach adulthood with Windows 'Blue' by end of this year...
    • iPad survives on lack of choice

      The success of the iPad as a workplace device is not a matter of choice for most but rather a lack of choice. To actually use and manage iPad's in the workplace is a hair-pulling pain for all but a few categories of applications and most of these boil down to web interfaces which, let's face it, aren't exactly unique to the iPad.
      Android doesn't present a real corporate strength alternative unless it can knuckle down and deliver some stability and consistency.
      Windows tablets (more so with W8, a bit less so with RT) deliver an enterpise manageable platform which doesn't require the hoops of iOS or the guesswork of whether Android will even work with your apps on the next iteration of the OS.
      Couple this with the variety of options being delivered for W8/RT (tablets, hybrids, ARM, ATOM, i3/5/7, laptop, desktop) and integration with WP8 and Windows offers a compelling case for providing a base to suit the maximum number of users with the minimum of effort, customisation and management.
      iPad's will always have a place in business but increasingly this will be where form is valued over function - nice to see in a salon or high-end retailer but increasingly marginalised where LOB applications, Office, remote desktop and other core functions are valued.
      Android will probably not succeed against Windows/iOS in business because it sits in that difficult space where Google can't take total control of the situation like Microsoft/Apple and so Android becomes a loosely defined standard, which is exactly what business doesn't want.
      After all that, ask yourself what a business would want to do on a tablet that would be absolutely unique to Windows/iOS/Android? There's not much! In the end businesses will chase low TCO, low hassles and ease of management and Windows gives them those things better than Android or iOS.
  • Sure

    People surveyed wanted one. They also want ponies, Mac Airs, and unicorns, but their bosses say those just cost too much. Good luck.
    D.J. 43
  • How accurate has Forrester Been (historically)

    I know that I take anything from Gartner with a grain of salt. Gartner's predictions are as bad as most television stock analysts (like Jim Cramer). They are awful, rarely get things right and costs people who believe them a lot of money.

    Hopefully Forrester has a been track record
    Burger Meister
  • In Other Words, If You Pay Them To Take One...

    ...why should they refuse?