- New research published by The Economist Intelligence Unit shows mobile device use in offices is changing work by enhancing collaboration, innovation and overall productivity
- Security is a key source of concern for firms adopting mobile working
- Africa and Middle East executives value mobile technologies more highly than other regions, potentially leapfrogging Western office cultures
New research published today (July 8th) by The Economist Intelligence Unit shows that the adoption of mobile technologies is altering the workplace. A majority of business executives surveyed say that mobile devices are changing the way employees work. Most say these technologies are enhancing productivity, with 86% saying the impact is either very or somewhat positive.
The research, sponsored by the Mopria Alliance, explores the impact of laptops, tablets and smartphones in offices around the world.
The research also found significant regional variation. Executives in Africa and the Middle East assign a higher relative importance to mobile over non-mobile technologies compared with their peers in the US and Europe. This suggests a “leapfrogging” effect—when new technologies allow people in certain regions to skip over stages others could not avoid.
The stumbling blocks of mobile technology are also clear: 47% of executives surveyed cite the need to maintain security across multiple devices as a key challenge in introducing mobile technologies to a company.
Frieda Klotz, the editor of the report, said: “Mobile technologies have the potential to transform how we work—but firms need to be thoughtful about the way they introduce them. Progress doesn’t happen all at once. Businesses need to include the right security measures and training for staff, as they navigate the transition between old and new ways of working.”
Paper also remains a presence in many workplaces. Although 61% thought that mobile screen-only information would increase in the coming years, nearly three quarters of executives (74%) say paper is still very or somewhat important to their employees’ job performance.
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Notes to editors
In March 2014 the Economist Intelligence Unit conducted a global survey of 333 executives and managers. Forty-five percent of respondents identified themselves as C-level executives and 16% were at the SVP/VP/Director level. Twenty percent of the companies had global annual revenues of US$10 billion or more. Nineteen percent had revenues of between US$1 billion and US$9.9 billion, 8% had revenues of between US$500 million and US$999 million, 17% had global annual revenues of between US$50 million and US$499 million, and 36% had global annual revenues of less than US$50 million. The respondents were based in North America (38%), Asia-Pacific (28%), Western Europe (22%), Latin America (5%), Eastern Europe (3%), the Middle East (2%) and Africa (2%). In total, 60 countries were represented.
About The Economist Intelligence Unit
The Economist Intelligence Unit is the world leader in global business intelligence. It is the business-to-business arm of The Economist Group, which publishes The Economist newspaper. As the world's leading provider of country intelligence, the Economist Intelligence Unit helps executives make better business decisions by providing timely, reliable and impartial analysis on worldwide market trends and business strategies. More information about The Economist Intelligence Unit can be found at www.eiu.com or follow us on www.twitter.com/theeiu.
About the Mopria Alliance
The Mopria Alliance is a non-profit membership organization of leading global technology companies with the shared goal of providing intuitively simple wireless printing from smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. The Mopria Alliance’s goal is to bring together the entire industry to drive selected standards adoption, support mobile software application providers to deploy print functionality in their applications, develop experience guidelines in the interaction of mobile and print devices, certify products which will carry the Mopria logo and educate consumers and business customers about the ability to easily print from mobile devices.