A study we recently completed with end users of mobile messaging devices in organizations of various sizes revealed just how critical mobile e-mail really is. For example:
* If a user’s mobile device, or an organization’s mobile service, experienced an outage, 35% of respondents told us that this would have a serious or critical impact on their senior managers’ ability to make critical, time-sensitive decisions.
* If a user discovered on the way to work that he or she had forgotten their mobile device, 20% of respondents would return home immediately to retrieve it, while another 9% would have someone from home bring it to them.
* Mobile devices are used in interesting places: 79% of respondents told us they have used their mobile device in the bathroom, 41% have used it while flying on a commercial flight while the plane is in the air, and 11% have used it during a “romantic” moment.
There are a couple of important takeaways from this. First and most obvious is that mobile messaging is critical to a large and growing proportion of users, even for those who have not become “CrackBerry” addicts.
Second, mobile messaging has become an integral component of the unified communications paradigm – an extension of many users’ desktops that permits them to move away from a fixed platform and lose little, if any, of their messaging functionality. While that also seems quite obvious, it has important ramifications for organizations that want to deploy unified communications.
Instead of thinking of mobile messaging as simply an add-on capability for some users in the organization, IT must consider mobile messaging as an integral component of the entire unified communications system that will eventually be rolled out to all users. This increases the potential cost of unified communications, and also puts more pressure on vendors to integrate easy-to-manage mobile communications capabilities into their base offerings.