Mobile Working Not Working, says Vodafone

A new study on mobile working has revealed that nearly 60 per cent of European multinationals currently have limited or no mobile working capabilities in place, with pricing predictability and the impact on corporate culture identified as two of the key barriers to adoption.

According to the pan-European study undertaken by Vodafone Global Enterprise – the Vodafone business that manages the telecoms needs of multinational enterprise customers – only 41 per cent of the 500 multinationals surveyed across the UK, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Spain, said they had a comprehensive mobile working solution in place. A further 44 per cent said it was an important priority, while 15 per cent said they did not have a plan to initiate mobile working.

The study asked respondents what they thought were the main reasons behind companies not embracing mobile working solutions. 70 per cent of respondents highlighted fears that differing tariff structures across many different markets would prove complex to manage. Other fears included a deterioration of productivity, and the security implications of corporate applications being widely used on mobile devices.

However, large businesses are becoming more mobile, and the study identified a strong desire amongst European enterprise employees for mobile working capabilities. 70 per cent of firms said their employees wanted the option of flexible working.
Vodafone says the survey reinforces the considerable opportunity for providers of managed mobile solutions, such as Vodafone Global Enterprise, which has recently expanded its client base to around 575 multi-national corporations and reported revenues of £1.1bn in the year to 31 March 2010.

The company says it provides services and pricing structures that directly answer the business concerns raised in this survey, including ‘per seat’ pricing, which provides complete transparency and budgeting predictability across countries and continents; ‘device manager’, which enables the remote management of mobile devices; fixed and mobile converged solutions; and a ‘Master Services Agreement’, which is a single-signature contract covering 38 countries.

“The perceived barriers to adopting mobile working practices are easily overcome,” says Vodafone Global Enterprise CEO, Nick Jeffery. “Our experience shows that mobile working leads to cost savings as companies unify their communications needs, and it also boosts productivity, because it enables employees to make better use of their time. Further benefits are higher levels of job satisfaction amongst employees, reduced travel costs, potential savings from avoiding extra office space, and the ability to lessen the company’s carbon footprint.”

To assist companies considering embracing mobile working, Vodafone Global Enterprise has produced a White Paper entitled Mobile Flexible Working, which outlines how to approach the transition and optimise the benefits. At its core is the premise that mobile and flexible working is an irreversible development, as the world becomes increasingly connected and the relationship between work, home and the community evolves. You can download the whitepaper here.