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Handheld email devices, such as the Blackberry from Research in Motion (RIM) and Palm's Treo, have become must-have devices for many business professionals. Once limited to top executives and select sales personnel, these products are now in high demand by users at all levels of the organization.
This Research Byte is a summary of our full report, Handheld Email Devices: Adoption Rates, ROI, and TCO.
How deeply have these devices penetrated the enterprise? How fast is usage of these devices growing? Do the benefits of these products outweigh the costs? To find out, Computer Economics conducted a survey of over 200 IT organizations in which we asked specific questions about adoption levels, user counts, and the economic characteristics of handheld email devices. Our analysis of the survey results shows that these devices are widely deployed and are continuing to grow in popularity among business users. Furthermore, while the ROI for these devices appears positive overall, our total cost of ownership statistics may indicate that some organizations are not adequately budgeting for the support of these devices.
The full version of this report estimates the total number of these devices in use worldwide today and projects growth in usage over the next six years, based on adoption rates reported from our survey. It also analyzes the reasons for their popularity along with the costs and risks that they introduce to the organization.
Our study investigated the usage rate of handheld email devices, then explored the effect of organization size and industry sector on that rate. Figure 1 shows the number of handheld email devices per 100 users for all companies surveyed. Statistics are provided for the 25th percentile (25% of the respondents were at this level or below), the median (half of the respondents were at this level or below), and the 75th percentile (75% of the respondents were at this level or below).
The full version of this report provides the following additional statistics on handheld email devices:
The full report concludes with recommendations for organizations planning the acquisition of or expanding the use of these devices. This section includes documentation on the frequencies and types of networks currently in use in key geographic areas.
The benefits of handheld email devices in terms of workforce productivity are widely recognized, but at the same time, many organizations fail to recognize all the costs of supporting these devices. With proper planning for these needs, handheld email devices can boost the productivity of the mobile workforce. Custom applications installed on the devices, such as those sales force automation or field service, can be competitive discriminators that improve customer support and reduce costs. Smoothly integrating these devices into business processes is the key, so that they move beyond status symbols to providing tangible benefits to the enterprise.
This Research Byte is a brief overview of our report on this subject, Handheld Email Devices: Adoption Rates, ROI, and TCO. The full report is available at no charge for Computer Economics clients, or it may be purchased by non-clients directly from our website at https://www.computereconomics.com/article.cfm?id=1268 (click for pricing).