The present and future of flexible working
By Dale Vile & Andrew Buss
Tales of the laptop PC’s death are greatly exaggerated
Full function PCs are the most important client device for business computing today and the view is that this importance will actually increase, not decrease, in the context of mobile working over the coming three years. Continued price and power/performance improvements look set to encourage broader laptop (including notebook) PC adoption.
Smart phones are an important second device, with tablets emerging as an optional third
The role of smart phones in business is now beyond question, with their importance anticipated to continue growing as a laptop companion. While tablets may play a critical role in some scenarios, they are likely to represent a ‘nice to have’ third device for more general professional use, at least in the short to medium term.
Increased adoption creates increased expectation in terms of device and support capability
Despite the enthusiasm for the latest mobile equipment, shortcomings in capability and therefore areas for improvement are evident. This includes device side requirements such as battery life, along with facilities to help manage devices and the information held on them. Within this, security is a particular area of focus for further development.
Infrastructure to enable multi-device support is key to success
The use of two mobile devices will become normal, with some anticipating professionals using three or more pieces of kit. Capabilities to make applications, services and information available coherently across devices, including middleware, synchronisation and self-provisioning solutions are important here. Some are considering the role of ‘the cloud’ in this.
Consumerisation is real, and steps need to be taken to prepare for it
We already see the use of personal equipment for business purposes, and awareness of the need to support it safely, cost effectively and securely is increasing. Lack of support or attempts to block consumerisation will simply drive activity ‘underground’ with unpredictable consequences. By the same token, there is a need to better manage personal use of corporate devices.