Mobile Darwinism Impacts the Workforce

iPass, a provider of mobility services for enterprises and telecom service providers, has published its quarterly Mobile Workforce Report, which examined the impact of ‘Mobile Darwinism’ in the workplace, as technology and data consumption are evolving faster than business infrastructure and mobile networks are able to adapt. The report found a 25 percent decline in cellular mobile network satisfaction among respondents, as mobile device usage, social media adoption and data consumption are on the rise. Only half of those surveyed are satisfied with their data coverage and just a third are satisfied with network speed.

At the same time the number of devices carried for work has grown to 3.5 devices from 2.7 in 2011 – this includes at least one laptop, a smartphone and a tablet. In fact tablet adoption has grown to 64 percent of those surveyed in 2012 from 41 percent in the second quarter of 2011.

According to the report, business users are within range of a Wi-Fi network 61 percent of their day. Mobile employees are taking advantage of these Wi-Fi networks, with 58 percent of respondents reporting they actively use Wi-Fi more than two hours a day on their smartphones, 73 percent on their tablets, and 83 percent on their laptops. Yet, according to a recent Gartner study, by 2015, 80 percent of newly installed enterprise wireless networks will be obsolete due to initial installation of non-scalable technology.

“Mobile employees are seeing a significant reduction in service levels due to the rapid rise of data consumption,” said Barbara Nelson, chief technology officer at iPass. “An enterprise’s adaptation strategy should include investing in better management tools to monitor usage, upgrading infrastructure to address the new capacity requirements, licensing outside network services and requiring employees to use inexpensive and secure Wi-Fi connections when possible.”