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Computer Economics research indicates that establishing a mobile workforce can produce annual savings ranging between $1,350 and $3,500 per worker. These savings are partially a result of the elimination of costly real estate, but the primary value of a mobile workforce is the resultant boost in productivity.
This productivity improvement accounts for financial gains several times those of the savings in office space costs. In addition, properly supported mobile workers view their freedom to work in their choice of location to be a major benefit. Consequently, mobility can increase employee retention and become a recruitment inducement. The accrued savings that your organization can expect to achieve from a properly managed mobile workforce are shown in Figure 1.
The returns of a mobile workforce can only be realized if the concept is implemented in a fashion that is suited to the specific needs of your organization. Without careful planning and deployment, mobility can turn out to not only increase costs, but can also create severe security risks and employee dissatisfaction.
The financial gains identified above are partially offset by the TCO of mobile systems. Figure 2 illustrates Computer Economics' estimates for the TCO of devices based on their acquisition costs. It should also be noted, that the TCO for mobile devices is likely to be higher than that of fixed equipment.
Companies that support their mobile workforces with the proper equipment and well-devised and formalized policies and procedures are exercising good business judgment that can produce very positive returns.
As part of our ongoing series of special reports, Computer Economics will publish a new study in August entitled IT Management & Industry Outlook. This new report will discuss the strategies and advantages of deploying a mobile work force in greater detail. Additionally, this 100-plus page report will discuss a variety of IT topics from a management, ROI/TCO, and risk management perspective. To order a copy of this invaluable special report on the state of the IT industry, contact us at 1-800-326-8100, ext. 51.