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IDC Survey Indicates European Workforce Mobility on the Rise but Challenges Remain

08 ноября 2010

IDC announced the Western European results from its 2010 EMEA Enterprise Mobility Survey which questioned 1,240 end users in 13 countries across EMEA on the latest workforce mobility trends within their organizations.

Interviews were conducted in July/August 2010 across seven countries in the Western European region of the survey, including 10 company size categories and industry verticals.

Some of the key findings of the survey include:

  • European mobile workers will grow 5% over the next three years, with 5%–10% growth in Sweden and the Netherlands and in large companies in finance and retail sectors
  • The recessionary desire of "more for less" among ICT buyers continues in 2011, as the majority of respondents predict a stable spending environment across fixed and mobile services. Media, transport and retail verticals, however, plan to buck this trend, predicting significant spend increases in mobile data in 2011.
  • The 2010 ash cloud and business travel disruptions have taken effect with IT decision makers as business continuity comes out fastest growing perceived benefit of mobile working in 2010 and is highest among firms in the media, transport, utilities, and public sectors. Business continuity is now the second most popular benefit of mobile working overall, just behind improved customer service, according to the survey.
  • Despite these benefits, most businesses have significant challenges in deploying enterprise mobility today. Cost, managing mobile devices, security, and protecting company data on mobile devices continue to represent the key barriers in supporting Europe's mobile workers.
  • Surprisingly, most respondents are skeptical of the much-discussed consumerization trend affecting IT today such, as "bring your own" smartphones and individual-liability schemes for mobility. Almost unanimously, most countries and sectors predict an increase in company-paid devices and service contracts for their mobile workforces over the next three years, while forecasting a decline in personal-owned devices for business use. Firms in Italy, Sweden, and the U.K. are most skeptical of this trend overall.
  • Respondents also predict a heterogeneous world in terms of business devices in the future. Smartphones and to a lesser extent, tablets PCs and netbooks, will see the largest growth over the next few years, largely at the expense of conventional mobile phones rather than laptops. Smartphone growth will be most significant in under-penetrated verticals today such as utilities, transport, and retail, as well as in countries such as the Netherlands and Sweden, according to the survey. 
  • BlackBerry comes out as the preferred smartphone platform of choice among business decision makers, with leading penetration in the finance sector and in 1,000+ organizations. Microsoft claims second spot overall, followed by Symbian, Apple iOS, and Android, respectively.
  • BlackBerry will also be the preferred platform in three years' time. Symbian will see the largest decline over the next three years , courtesy of Apple iOS and Android, the two fastest growing mobile smartphone platforms for businesses in Europe, according to the survey. 
  • Specifically, Apple iOS will outpace Symbian in Netherlands, Spain, Germany, and the U.K. over the next three years to become a top 3 platform by 2013. Apple iOs is predicted to be the number one platform in media and telecommunications verticals in three years, according to the survey.

"As IDC has long argued, increased workforce mobility and the popularization of mobile technologies are raising awareness of the benefits mobility can deliver across many aspects of Europe's businesses, including customer service, decision making, workforce productivity and, especially in 2010, business continuity," said Nicholas McQuire, research director of Enterprise Mobility EMEA for IDC. "But most of these benefits cannot be fully realized because many large and small European organizations lack centralized cost control, visibility, and efficient security and management mechanisms for mobility across their ICT environments.

"Although there are some very compelling results from this survey, notably, the hard evidence that European IT departments are planning to support multiple mobile platforms in future, driven by the increasing popularity of Apple and Android smartphones among businesses in Europe, the feedback on service outsourcing, and the conservative approach towards supporting personal devices for business use over the next three years in Europe, the overall message speaks to this critical aspect the most."

The EMEA Enterprise Mobility Survey, conducted annually, is designed to gather the latest customer insight on business and IT strategic priorities and the latest perceived wisdom on the benefits and challenges of mobile working, and to understand purchasing plans over the next three years across a range of business mobility areas such as devices, operating platforms, applications, and services.


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