The inaugural Forrester Research Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) Workforce Technographics® survey, designed to demonstrate the technology adoption habits of information workers (iWorkers), shows that while email and desktop computers are ubiquitous, few other applications or devices are and that more experienced employees – not Generation Y — are the leading users of social technology on the job. The findings, released at Forrester’s Business Technology Forum, are contained in the new report “The State Of Workforce Technology Adoption: US Benchmark 2009,” which is based on a survey of more than 2,000 US iWorkers at companies with 100 or more employees. Forrester’s Workforce Technographics data enables Information & Knowledge Management professionals and other IT leaders to benchmark their organization’s technology adoption and attitudes to drive investments and prioritize initiatives.

Forrester surveyed respondents on workplace adoption of technologies such as devices — PCs and laptops — productivity tools, mobility, collaboration software, intranet portals, and Web 2.0 technologies. Highlights include:

  • Devices. The desktop still dominates the workplace. Three out of four iWorkers use a desktop, and 63 percent of desktop users spend four or more hours per day on it. However, more than one-third of respondents use more than one device at least weekly.
  • Productivity tools. Email, word processing, and spreadsheets are the top three productivity tools used by iWorkers, but even the use of those applications fluctuates greatly. Email is used by 57 percent of iWorkers hourly. However, word processing and spreadsheets are not used as frequently — only 16 percent and 14 percent, respectively, of iWorkers use these applications every hour.
  • Mobility. Only one in 10 iWorkers has a smartphone for work, but almost one in three iWorkers agree that they use a personal mobile phone for work purposes. There is demand among iWorkers for smartphones.
  • Collaboration. With collaboration tools going widely untapped by companies — only one in four iWorkers use Web conferencing and one in five use team sites — email remains the de facto collaboration tool for most professionals, with an 87 percent adoption rate.
  • Intranet portals. Seventy percent of all iWorkers visit the employee portal and 43 percent do so at least daily. Search is the most commonly used resource on the portal, followed by information related to performance reviews and personal goals.
  • Web 2.0 technologies. Surprise — Gen Y is not leading business adoption of social technologies. Even though 59 percent of these 18-to-29-year-old professionals use social technologies at home, only 14 percent use them in the workplace — the same percentage as Gen X employees, ages 30 to 43. Instead of social technologies, mobile texting is Gen Y’s communication method of choice: 51 percent are using their personal mobile for texting at work.

“The time has come for IT decision-makers to walk a mile in the shoes of their workforce,” said Ted Schadler, vice president and principal analyst, Forrester Research. “By applying Workforce Technographics to their employees, organizations can benchmark their technology adoption and satisfaction against their peers and other industries, make better investment decisions based on hard facts, and develop metrics that clearly demonstrate IT’s impact and inherent value to the business, moving the organization closer to what Forrester calls Business Technology.”

In addition to Information & Knowledge Management professionals who can use the data to have meaningful discussions with business executives about technology adoption, requirements and funding, Workforce Technographics is a valuable benchmarking tool for:

  • CIOs who can identify gaps in workforce productivity, underperformance against competitors, and barriers to success.
  • Sourcing & Vendor Management professionals who can improve their negotiating position by having hard data to drive licensing discussions.
  • Infrastructure & Operations professionals who can practice lean provisioning and use quantitative analysis to tailor the workforce tool kit based on real needs and tolerance for mobility, desktop virtualization, and wireless access.
  • Enterprise Architecture professionals who can use data on technology usage of different demographics to make key architecture decisions for mobility, telecommuting, and videoconferencing.

Attendees at Forrester’s Business Technology Forum will learn how to apply Workforce Technographics within their own organizations during a session entitled “Make Workforce Personas Part Of Your Lean Technology Tool Kit.” For more information on the methodology, an archived Webinar entitled “Workforce Technographics®: Benchmark Workforce Technology Success” is also available free of charge.

About Workforce Technographics

Workforce Technographics® is a new Forrester methodology for analyzing the needs and issues that information workers face in their jobs. This quantitative assessment gives CIOs and their staffs, as well as IT industry vendors, the tools to make better investment decisions. Forrester is expanding this research into other countries and topics in 2009 and beyond. Workforce Technographics is available to Forrester’s RoleView™ clients today.