Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wireless Broadband for Work-Life Balance

Pressure on companies to provide work-life balance programs for their employees -- combined with advances in communication technologies -- is increasing the number of mobile workers in the U.S. and around the world.

By year-end 2011, IDC expects nearly 75 percent of the U.S. workforce will be mobile.

The current generation of workers is demanding more flexibility and mobility in their schedules. They also have a higher comfort level with technology in general, including remote access technologies and mobile devices.

The proliferation of high speed networks, widespread public wireless broadband Wi-Fi hotspots, and fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) technology now allows employees to work effectively from almost anywhere.

In addition to meeting the demands of today's workforce, enterprises are deploying mobile solutions to meet both horizontal and vertical industry needs driven by increasing business response time as well as to help reduce corporate space (and leasing) requirements.

Organizations deploying mobile solutions enjoy a strategic competitive advantage over their competitors who have not invested in integrating mobility into their cultural roadmap.

"Although mobility deployments can bring a number of benefits to companies, they also bring risks associated with sensitive data sitting on small devices that can be easily lost," said Stephen Drake, program director, Mobile Enterprise Services. "Developing a plan around managing and securing devices should be part of any large mobility deployment."

Regional comparisons indicate that the U.S. workforce has the highest percentage of mobile workers at 68 percent in 2006.

However, Japan's penetration rates will increase the most during the forecast period with mobile workers accounting for nearly 80 percent of the workforce by year-end 2011, up from 53 percent in 2006.