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Issue of October 2005 

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Perception vs reality in the enterprise mobile workforce

There is a disparity between the perceived and actual use of mobile technology, according to The State of Workforce Mobility, a comprehensive study conducted in the US by Simpson Carpenter on behalf of Nokia Enterprise Solutions.

A significant disconnect exists in today’s large business community between the perceived and actual use and understanding of workforce mobility. Decision-makers at large organisations have not come to fully recognise the extent to which their employees utilise mobile technology. From the decision-maker’s perspective, few employees use mobile phones (24 percent) or laptops (10 percent) for work purposes.

Conversely, more than 50 percent of employees in those same organisations indicate they use a mobile phone for business activities. This gap in the assessment of mobile technology’s importance at large businesses points to the underlying reality, that decision-makers remain behind the mobility curve, and employees continue to pull them forward.

As employees rapidly embrace mobile technologies, many company decision-makers remain unaware and unconvinced of the value to their organisations and employee population. This disparity between the perceived use and actual use of mobile technology has been responsible for slower deployment within some businesses.

But that trend is changing as more decision-makers recognise the benefits to their workforce and their organisation from a fully mobile infrastructure. Businesses of all sizes are implementing mobile technology. Of course, slight variations exist due to different issues and priorities in budgeting, IT planning, and resources. However, overall, the workforce at businesses of all sizes have recognised the value of mobility, and is at the forefront of the push for greater access to remote applications, such as e-mail and CRM database information.

The survey involved 2,700 enterprise mobility decision-makers and 3,000 employees to gain insight into their mobile technology usage and behaviour. Respondents were representative across industries, hailing from a variety of company sizes including, small businesses (1-49 employees), medium businesses (50-499 employees) and large businesses (500+ employees). The study can be downloaded from:,8764,330,00.html

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Indian Express - Business Publications Division

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