Today, I responded to an email on my iPhone, updated a document on my iPad, and now I’m drafting this blog post from my laptop. It has me thinking, what is everyone else doing on each of their devices?
Some business activities that are done seamlessly from a laptop can be painfully complex from a smartphone. Other activities have a consistent ease-of-use across any device. For example, most workers today wouldn’t think too much about the process of reading and sending emails, no matter what device they are working from at the time. In fact, in a recent report, Forrester reveals that 90 percent of workers use computers for email, 66 percent of workers use tablets for email and 77 percent use smartphones for email. The high percentage across devices demonstrates how convenient and accessible email has become, regardless of whether it is being accessed on smartphones, tablets or computers.
Other functions, however, aren’t always second nature for all devices. In the same report, Forrester shares that 79 percent of workers use their laptops for word processing, followed by 40 percent using tablets, while only 18 percent of workers would use their smartphones for word processing. It makes sense, when you think about it – how often do you create documents from your smartphone? This points to the need for applications that are accessible, consistent and easy to use across platforms and devices so that workers can truly work anywhere, from any device
As much as the IT industry has touted enabling “anytime, anywhere” employees over the past few years, working on the go has been limited by the inability to perform ALL business functions from any device. Certainly, people will always have their personal preferences, but the truly mobile worker will be able to do virtually any business function from whichever device they choose, whether it is emailing or creating and editing documents.
All of this means that today’s enterprise software and applications need to be designed with the multi-device worker in mind. Word processing may be mostly conducted on computers today, but as we are increasingly experiencing the rise of the mobile workforce we’ll likely see a shift in the way enterprise employees are working from their devices. As this device shift continues to shape the way we work, we need to consider how our business applications need to change to meet the demands of the any-device workforce.
How many devices do your employees work from, and do you know which business functions they prefer to conduct on which devices?