Mobile workforce growing with BYOD leading the way
The idea of the workplace has changed in recent years. While the need for an office, a cubicle and a break room holds true in many scenarios, more and more workers are finding they don't need to be tethered to their desks to get the job done. This is a being driven, in part, by the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement.
BYOD as a concept is simple. Essentially, employees are allowed to use whatever devices they want to do their work more efficiently. Most commonly, this involves a laptop, but in recent years, employees have also started bringing their personally owned tablet computers or smartphones to the office.
Some argue that these mobile devices impede productivity. While it's true they lack some of the familiarity of a laptop or desktop computer, tablets and smartphones also introduce new capabilities -- like cellular network connectivity -- that make it possible to work from virtually anywhere.
"This is a good time to be a mobile enthusiast, as the tools have grown wonderfully in the last few years. The hardware is simply great, and the platforms that drive it just as good. Sure, there is always room for improvement but the fact is what we have is already pretty darn good," tech blogger James Kendrick writes for ZDNet. Kendrick claims he was writing from a car dealership.
Research firm IDC predicts the mobile workforce will reach 1.2 billion by 2013, up from 1 billion in 2010. As the number of these mobile employees grows, technologies like tablets and smartphones will prove essential.