Changing Workforce to Affect Trends in Mobile Devices

April 8, 2008 ( - Analysts speaking at Gartner, Inc.'s Emerging Trends Symposium/ITxpo 2008 say retirement and changing workforce trends will influence mobile and wireless technology adoption and innovation in the near future.

A news release from Gartner, an information technology research and advisory company, said the trends that will influence developments in mobile devices include:

  • Retirement will be pushed back in developed countries as baby boomers remain in their jobs, pursuing more-diversified career plans. Leading enterprises will develop talent programs for people at different career stages, ages, and professional cross-roads and cultural, ethnic and gender diversity will rise with workforce migration, increasing activities within emerging countries, and increasing female workforce presence.
  • Cultural, ethnic, and gender diversity will rise and is a valuable asset that enterprises must embrace to extend the reach and raise the service levels of their IT organization.
  • Digital natives will bring new skills, cultures, preferences, and expectations, forcing enterprises to pursue discontinuous talent and work practices. Their power within organizations will increase because they have more technological skills; more knowledge and use of social networks and smartphones; greater familiarity with innovative consumer products and business models; and increased ability to retrieve information.

“As a new mix of younger users replaces the less-varied profiles of those retiring, it will be the organizations that best understand the diversity of requirements and expectations that achieve the greatest levels of user productivity and satisfaction,” said Monica Basso, research vice president at Gartner, in the release. “With more digital natives and women joining organizations, the impact of consumerization on IT will become more visible. Users will demand more choices in the devices, applications and services they use and their preferences will be for consumer products and services rather than traditional business centric ones.”

Basso also said the evolution of the worker population towards younger individuals and women will force user organizations to re-think their processes.

Gartner analysts predict that by 2015, people will customize 90% of the information, tools, and educational and technological resources they use at work, at home and for entertainment. Basso said personalization is very limited today as it is mostly about aesthetics and cosmetics, but “eventually the form and function of mobile devices will be reinvented.”

Findings from recent surveys have also indicated that the younger workforce expect to be provided with state-of-the-art technology (See Different Generations Require Different Office Designand Gen Y Brings Entitlement Attitude to the Workforce ).