Each year, Forrester analysts field over 20,000 inquiries on a variety of topics, which provide insight into the key issues and challenges facing our clients in a variety of roles, including CIOs, enterprise architects, vendor strategists, and marketing professionals. Forrester defines enterprise mobility as the ability of an enterprise to communicate with suppliers, partners, employees, assets, and customers irrespective of location. During 2009, analysts fielded nearly 700 inquiries related to enterprise mobility issues, jumping from 550+ inquiries in 2008 and 360+ inquiries in 2007. What are these inquiries asking about? The key focus of these inquiries is on mobile applications, mobile devices, and mobile employee segmentation.

Questions about mobile applications accounted for over 20% of all enterprise mobility inquiries in 2009. The  majority of these application inquiries were focused on vertical applications, including fleet management solutions in the transportation industry that enable more efficient, real-time routing of vehicles. Today, email and calendaring mobile applications are mainstream in most enterprises, so many companies are broadening their mobile application initiatives to address the needs of particular types of line-of-business workers in their industry (e.g., retail, healthcare, transportation, financial services.) We expect continued growth in the number of mobile application inquiries during the coming year.

Approximately 20% of enterprise mobility inquiries in 2009 focused on mobile devices, operating systems, and device management processes. Most of these questions focused on comparing the benefits and challenges of using specific devices or operating systems. The mobile device landscape is extremely fragmented within enterprises. The most commonly used mobile operating systems in North America are BlackBerry and Windows Mobile, while European enterprises often support Symbian as well. We are also seeing increased adoption of devices using the iPhone and Android operating systems. During the next few years, we expect most enterprises will support two or three operating systems to address a variety of enterprise user application requirements and geographic network specifications.

There is also growing interest in understanding the profile of mobile worker segments. About 20% of inquiries in the past year are focused on identifying and segmenting the types of employees who receive mobile devices, applications, and solutions. Forrester has identified three mobile worker segments: a) mobile information workers who spend a significant amount of time on the road; b) mobile task workers, who are away from their desks most of the day and use mobile applications to complete specific work-related activities; and c) mobile wannabes who are non-mobile workers such as executive assistants and human resource personnel, but want to use their personal mobile devices in a work setting. It is the mobile wannabe segment where significant growth will come from in the future. In the coming year, we expect more inquiries concerning which users should have access to various mobile applications and how to cost effectively deploy these applications and support workers using a range of mobile devices.