This is a guest post from Sam Diaz of TechRepublic’s sister site ZDNet. You can follow Sam on his ZDNet blog Between the Lines, or subscribe to the RSS feed.
A mobile workforce survey found that the majority of Blackberry-carrying employees would trade their devices in for an iPhone, if only their companies supported it. Likewise, nearly two-thirds of those surveyed employees said they would prefer to be issued a smartphone instead of a notebook computer.
The report, released today by enterprise mobility services provider iPass, also found that mobile employees overwhelmingly have no idea what their mobile connectivity costs their employers.
In the report, 32 percent of the surveyed employees said they still rank the Blackberry as their mobile device of choice. Only 11 percent said they would prefer an Android device and 8 percent said they would rather have a netbook. Apple’s iPad, which hasn’t even shipped yet, already has the interest of these mobile employees, with 24 percent saying that the tablet device is what they would like to have. In a statement, iPass CEO Evan Kaplan said:
The adoption of consumer devices and services by enterprise users is making enterprise mobility expensive and chaotic to manage. Attempts to ignore this trend and deny employees the consumer devices they crave will not only drive up the cost of enterprise mobility, it will turn employees and IT departments into rivals versus allies. Our goal is to empower enterprises with insight into their mobile employees’ behavior, as well as arm them with the tools necessary put them back in the driver’s seat so they can stop worrying and learn to love devices like the iPhone.
The report also noted that the definition of “mobile employee” is broadening beyond those who travel regularly. Today, every employee is a potential mobile employee. The mobile usage data from the last quarter found that, while 68 percent of the employees did not travel during the quarter, they did log in from home. Other than logging on from home, mobile employees most often logged in from hotels (43 percent), airports (27 percent) and retail outlets and restaurants (27 percent).