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Booming mobile rewriting strategic playbooks: IBM

DC Canada contends that ever-increasing commute times, a growing desire for work-life balance, the proliferation of mobile devices and cloud computing, as well as the overall improvement in network speeds all serve to contribute to...


March 1, 2013  


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DC Canada contends that ever-increasing commute times, a growing desire for work-life balance, the proliferation of mobile devices and cloud computing, as well as the overall improvement in network speeds all serve to contribute to Canada’s burgeoning mobile workforce.

The research firm explored the nature of Canada’s mobile workforce in a new report entitled Canadian Mobile Worker 2012-2016 Forecast, which defined the various types of mobile workers and breaks down population and shares for 2012.

“With the growth of tablets and smartphones, improved network connectivity, and employee demand for greater work-life balance, Canadians are increasingly empowered with the tools to enable productive mobile work,” said Krista Napier, a senior analyst with IDC.

“We expect to see healthy growth in the number of mobile workers in Canada over the forecast period, with the Canadian mobile worker population expected to increase from 68.9% in 2012 to 73% by 2016.

Key highlights from the forecast include the following:


Office-based mobile workers represent the largest segment. Upwards of 52.5% of employed mobile workers in Canada are office-based, growing at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 2.4% over the forecast period.


Employed Americans are more mobile than Canadian workers. This gap will narrow significantly by 2016, according to IDC.


Small companies are more likely to employ mobile workers. As a result, they will need scalable and affordable solutions for dealing with a more mobile workforce, whether that is the hardware or software solutions surrounding the devices and the employee.

Napier was one of several speakers at a panel discussion organized by IBM Canada Ltd. in February that focused on the “transformations” currently taking place in mobile commerce. “To date, mobile has been all about the device,” the company said. “Now, the value of mobility extends far beyond the device itself to what people can accomplish with it.”

Other speakers included Trevor Newell, co-founder and president of Shop.ca, Elizabeth Evans, Associate Dean of Ryerson University, Chris Wright, enterprise marketing strategist with IBM Corp., Mike Riegel, the company’s vice president of mobile and Websphere solutions and Charaka Kithulegoda, CIO of ING Direct Canada.

“Mobile is becoming a primary way to interact,” said Riegel. “That dramatically changes how companies, whether large or small, need to think about how they treat mobile.”

Further to that, he added that a typical CIO is struggling with how best to implement a mobile-driven IT strategy.

“There are an enormous set of challenges,” said Riegel. They are learning how difficult it is from a security standpoint, device standpoint and application standpoint.”

In a blog, he cited the recently released 2012 IBM Tech Trends Report, which is based on a survey an estimated 1,200 executives who make technology decisions for their organizations.

The report noted that “mobile technology, business analytics, cloud computing and social business are rewriting strategic playbooks across industries. In these spaces, new business possibilities are emerging faster than many organizations can act on them, with significant IT skill shortages and security concerns threatening progress. Yet, some companies are equipped to innovate at the front edges of these fast-moving technology trends and drive strategic advantages for their organizations.”