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VDC's Mobile and Wireless Practice just published a report/census of the global mobile worker population. According to our research the mobile worker population has been growing steadily over the past couple (with some recent RIF-based adjustments) exceeded 1 billion individuals in 2010! This has been a by-product of the growth of inherently mobile professions - health care workers, for example - but also is a reflection of the change to more flexible, distributed and dynamic workflows occurring in virtually every industry sector.
Besides the large overall worker population, what astounded us perhaps the most by this research was the relatively low level of penetration of enterprise mobility solutions among these mobile workers. Depending on the regional market, VDC estimates true enterprise mobility penetration of as low as 5% and as high as 15%. Clearly the use of mobile devices such as smartphones, handheld devices and (increasingly) tablets among these workers is substantially higher. However, to date, enterprises are mostly supporting wireless email on these devices. What is still largely not being done is supporting access to enterprise applications, support of custom mobile applications (think mobile CRM, direct store delivery, evidence management, mobile point of sale, etc.) and/or support of mobile workflows or tasks (such as job tasking, expense reporting, etc.).
This represents an immense opportunity for enterprises (when considering the potential productivity improvements associated with enterprise mobility solutions) and enterprise mobility solution providers.