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IDC Predicts Growth in Mobile Working

Better get used to supporting those mobile workers. They're not going anywhere, or rather, they're not going to disappear.

A study released this week by market research firm IDC predicts that the percentage of mobile workers will increase to 66 percent of the workforce by 2006.

To be sure, IDC is not implying that fully two-thirds of the U.S. workforce will take up laptops and mobile phones and travel all the time like a sales force that makes up the classic "road warrior" group. IDC includes workers who may be visiting a nearby site or a conference room on another floor.

"Advanced technology improves mobile worker productivity which leads to a broader mobility pattern and therefore more mobile working," Stephen Drake, program manager for IDC's Mobile Infrastructure Software service, said in a statement. "This positive reinforcement is a key factor in the mobile population growth we expect over the next five years."

In raw numbers, IDC expects the ranks of mobile workers to grow from 92 million in 2001 to 105 million in 2006. The market research firm expects the mobile non-travelers, who are often in meetings or away from their desks but who rarely leave town, to grow in number by 10 percent annually to more than 13 million workers in 2006.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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