Some of the most rapid and exciting developments in technology are taking place around mobile devices at the moment. This is in theory presenting CIOs and business stakeholders with some great choices to help optimise the way people work.
However, while some might refer to the landscape as being 'rich and dynamic', a more pragmatic description for planning and investment purposes would be 'fragmented and volatile'.
Against this background, formulating plans around mobile device adoption is not easy.
The first question that comes up when considering this is to do with its scope. If we anchor our discussion around business needs rather than specific technology categories and platforms, it makes sense to take an inclusive approach, looking at full-function laptops at one end, through to simple mobile phones at the other.
This is something we at Freeform Dynamics researched recently. Based on the views of 664 IT and business professionals, the results of our study suggested that all form factors — be it in terms of size, shape and specs of device — will coexist.
The often-heard notion that touch-screen slates would render laptops universally redundant, for example, was not generally supported.
The importance of full-spec laptop PCs for mobile business computing was anticipated to increase rather than decrease over the coming three years.
Improvements in price/performance, battery life and power/weight ratios are behind this, making laptops useful and deployable cost effectively in more business scenarios.
One substitution that does seem to be taking place is around handhelds. Evidence confirms that traditional voice-centric mobile phones are increasingly being replaced by smart phones.