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Dearly Beloved Devices

A couple of weeks ago I talked about where we draw the line when it comes to our professional and personal use of mobile devices. (Where does the mobile life begin and end?)? Since then, a great report from Kelton Research came out that addresses how we are intimitely connected to our mobile devices – and they share some interesting perspectives.

I titled this blog the same as one section of the report – Dearly Beloved Devices –because the concept that we are married to our devices hits home in the world we live in. Much of the mobile workforce is chomping at the bit to be able to use their ‘beloved’ devices at work.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here today to review a few interesting statistics from this report:

  • Half of respondents (50%) would rather they made the choice of the mobile device they use at work, instead of the company being put in charge of this decision.

At first this statistic took me by surprise. I expected that there would be a much higher percentage of people who would want choice. After all, who doesn’t want to choose? After a bit more thought, I realized the significance of this – half of all respondents (across all industries and roles) consider themselves educated enough on today’s smart devices to make good business decisions that will impact their professional productivity. That is actually pretty significant. A year or two ago we were happy just having access to a phone – today we know that mobility is about much more than voice calls and email – it’s about applications. And that is what is driving this preference for choice.


  • More men than women (54% vs. 45%) believe that choice would be best; this sentiment is also more popular among 18-35-year-olds than those who are 36 and older (54% vs. 47%).

The interesting point here is around the difference between generations. We hear people talking about ‘Generation M’ – the generation of people growing up with mobile devices. They fully believe that mobile technology will be a critical part of their job. I think if we track this trend over the next few years the numbers will become more and more diverse. I also think it would be interesting to further break down the age group ’36 and over’ – as I expect we’d see significant difference between 36-45 and 45+.


  • Close to three in five (59%) of those who chose their current mobile device themselves wouldn’t want things to change, vs. 44 percent of those who are operating a company-supplied device right now.

It seems by this data that those who choose their own device are happier with their device than those who are assigned a device. The real business impact is what will be interesting to see. If you could guarantee that your employees would engage more with their device, wouldn’t you rather give your employees the choice? While

I’ve only shared a few quick data points here, I plan to dive into additional points from this research report in future blogs – there are a lot of thought-provoking trends to talk about. For now, you can access the full report here

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  • Of course I do not get a mobile device from work either.  Oh well!  I keep toys of my own at home.  And yes to some extent I can use them for work.  E-mail, V-mail, Citrix...

    Here's my thought as a person who knows our support system.  Our devices have to be validated.  We work in an cGMP environment.  Food and Drug administration.  So we validate all devices on our Network.  It would be impossible to validate all the devices out there that people would want to use.  (These are the device that attach to our Network directly.  We do have an outside Network that we can log into.  And Citrix, Outlook, we can use those too.)

    And the next point, even though I would like to choose the device, of course I would expect the computer people to support me.  (Not I, but that is a feeling around non-computer type people.  Even with our limited access we still get support calls.)  Really - you expect them to be up to date with all the devices available.   I'd like to meet the person who can support everything.

    Question answered - I fall in the OVER 36 crowd.

    Good blog - it made me think this morning!


    • Thanks for your comment Michelle. It an earlier blog I talked about a BYOD shouldn't be an "any device" strategy - but rather an "expanded approved device" strategy.  I think the same applies here - more flexibility in the devices that are provided will likely result in better adoption. Allowing choice certainly can't mean opening the doors to everything.