Major Shift in Home Working Puts More Emphasis on Full Time, Less on Part-Time Businesses, New Research from IDC Finds

FRAMINGHAM, MA – JULY 1, 2002 – Although the September 11 attacks and concern about the economy have prompted companies to scale back business travel over the past nine months, the total mobile workforce continues to grow. Composed of more than the classic "road warriors," today's mobile workers may just be visiting a nearby site or even a conference room on another floor. Regardless of where they work, today's mobile worker has extraordinary access to resources made possible by the latest technology.


According to IDC, the number of mobile workers in the U.S. will increase by 12.7 million between 2001 and 2006, from 92 million to 105 million. In contrast, the number of workers who are not mobile will actually decline by 2 million through 2006, down to 53.8 million. This means that by the end of 2006 roughly two-thirds (66.0%) of U.S. workers will be mobile workers.

"We are just beginning the fifth stage of mobile working," said Raymond Boggs, program vice president for IDC's Small Business/Home Office services. "With portable PCs and cell phones in the 1980s and 1990s, mobile workers could stay in touch with customers and colleagues. Now with wireless networking and VPNs — virtual private networks – they have access to a full range of corporate resources." Boggs noted that September 11 events changed the mobile working equation, with a decline in traditional business offset by an increase in telecommuting and the use of advanced technology to help mobile workers away from the office.

"Advanced technology improves mobile worker productivity, which leads to a

broader mobility pattern and therefore more mobile working. This positive

reinforcement is a key factor in the mobile population growth we expect over

the next five years," said Stephen Drake, program manager for IDC's Mobile

Infrastructure Software service.

Key Market Findings:

Mobile professionals will grow from 15.9 million in 2001 to 21.0 in 2006, driving the most technology investment of any mobile segment.

Mobile non-travelers, the workers who rarely leave town but who are often in meetings or away from their desks, will be growing in number by 10% annually to over 13 million in 2006.

Occasionally mobile workers, who travel less than 20% of the time, are actually declining in number. But rather than retiring their carry-on luggage, a growing number of these workers are graduating to the next level and joining the more committed mobile professionals.

IDC's recently released U.S. Mobile Worker Population Forecast and Analysis, 2002-2006 (IDC #27374) offers comprehensive insight into the mobile worker population in the U.S. and examines the market opportunities for hardware, software, and services vendors in the mobile market. This document includes IDC's identified mobile worker segments, an assessment of mobile technology needs by group, four stages of mobile working evolution, and essential guidance for vendors participating in this market space.

To purchase this document, call IDC's volume sales hotline at 508-988-7988 or email Jim Nagle at

About IDC

IDC is the foremost global market intelligence and advisory firm helping clients gain insight into technology and ebusiness trends to develop sound business strategies. Using a combination of rigorous primary research, in- depth analysis, and client interaction, IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends to deliver dependable service and client advice. More than 700 analysts in 43 countries provide global research with local content. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.

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