The rise of the mobile worker

According to analyst firm IDC, mobile workers will account for more than one quarter of the world's working population by 2009.

  • E-Mail
By  Administrator Published  September 6, 2007

According to analyst firm IDC, mobile workers will account for more than one quarter of the world's working population by 2009. The growth of this phenomenon is not limited to the developed countries; companies across emerging markets, including the Middle East and Africa, are demonstrating significant increases in the mobile working population.

Web 2.0 has created a collaboration movement, which is demonstrated by the rising popularity of social networking sites including Facebook, MySpace and YouTube. Many businesses have started to realise the value of piggybacking on this movement to drive the next wave of productivity growth and are now restructuring their business model by adopting tools, like unified communications and TelePresence, which will allow the workforce to remain connected anytime and anywhere.

A lack of regular communication can lead to increased levels of stress and feelings of isolation, whereas micromanagement can undermine trust.

The uptake and success of mobile working, however, is affected by key factors such as network readiness - which measures the extent to which countries are prepared to use ICT effectively, cultural influences, individuals' personality traits, and the style of management.

And as workplace mobility increases, a new generation of users is emerging that expects communication to be available regardless of where they are. This expectation has given birth to a growing market of devices and services, tailored to the needs and desires of consumers.

In the Middle East and Africa, where mobile penetration exceeds fixed line penetration, there is a fertile environment for leapfrogging of legacy technologies and introducing mobile working practices. The evolution of broadband devices, technologies and services, as well as the growing number of mobile technologies supporting personal communication has further urged businesses to embrace mobile working policies.

To maximise the value of the mobile workforce, mitigating associated risks becomes vital. This means organisations will have to manage a rapid transition to a style of working that supports people of all kinds, makes the best of their talent and maintains their identification with the organisation and its goals.

Managers further need to provide their employees with the necessary technology resources that will allow them to work in diverse settings as well as support team backup to ensure they can cope with unexpected circumstances.

Basic connectivity tools include mobile phones, laptops with wireless adaptor, a secure remote access intranet network and an easy-to-access managing system.

Additional tools which add significant value to remote employees include easy-to-access audio, web and video conferencing, PDA or smartphone, video telephone, and a single contact number for all communications devices.

A Gartner 2006 survey revealed that CIOs estimate that corporate spending on mobile and wireless applications will grow between 10 - 20% per year through to 2009. The survey also showed that transportation, government, pharmaceutical, technology, and professional service industries all ranked mobile workforce initiatives as a top-three spending priority.

Delivering effective and secure mobility solutions and real-time collaboration require leadership in a wide variety of technologies - IP networking, wireless LANS, unified communications, and of course the security capabilities to ensure control and compliance of any application across the network. Today, Cisco is not only the leader in IP networking, but also the leader in enterprise voice with a comprehensive unified communications system, the leader in wireless LAN solutions and in comprehensive network and device security.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code