Wednesday, January 23, 2008

We're Going Mobile, Apparently

The IDC research group (more about them here) recently released a study that projects some dramatic growth in the mobile workforce. The actual study costs $2K to peruse, so I'm going on the press release summarizing the study, but I like what IDC is forecasting. For example, they foresee 75% of the U.S. workforce as "mobile" by 2011, and friends, that's not that far in the future.

A couple of caveats: the detailed description of the study more specifically identifies it as a hardware study, and so the researcher(s) were really looking at the deployment of mobile devices like laptops, smartphones, and other connected-but-handheld crap across enterprises. You could be sitting in an office with a Palm-Berry buzzing on your hip, too, so don't get excited yet. But if those kinds of devices are widespread in the enterprise, it also signals a shift in how IT is going to be focused toward facilitating the connection of remote stuff to central resources, and that is certainly good news for shut-ins, or those who would like to be.

An aside: I found this study through this Albany Business Review news item reporting on it. Note how they put the "comprehensive" study of a single badly-run telecommuting program done by Professor Golden at RPI as a suitable counterpoint to a broad-based industry analysis. Although I will also say this: I haven't been able to find the Golden study, and so it's possible that, like so many reports on scientific research, reporting on this piece is not accurately reflecting what it actually says.

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