It is the third quarter of 2008, for the first time, laptops have outshipped desktops according to all of the industry trackers. For end users, this was a critical date since mobility had officially become mainstream.
But first, the disclaimer. The opinions expressed on this blog are mine and do not represent those of my employer.
One great thing about the internet, is that if one posts something, it is out there forever (well, maybe that is not a good thing).
In 2008 as laptops gained momentum, all of the industry experts, the consultants, OEM's, and pundits provided their point of view and statistics on the productivity gains associated with mobility.
If you "Google" or "Bing" you will find the identical information as I have found.
With mobility an end user will see an improvement of 5.7 hours per week over their desktops. The enterprise will see a work week extended from a low of 5.2 hours per week to a high of 13.3 hours per week. Depending upon your favorite third party, the point is that there is no one who disputed the substantial gains in productivity.
Think about this in the following context. A typical work week is 40 hours, and if the low end of the benefits are used then the work week is 45.2 hours per week to 53.3 hours per week.
In terms of the percentage, this is the 20% to 25% we have all heard in the dialog.
Doing the arithmetic on a day to day basis, this suggest that the 8 hour day is really a 9.04 hour day to 10.66 hour day. Very few of us challenged this figure since we know and agreed for the most part it was accurate. It remains so today.
So now we find ourselves in the next generation of mobility. There are those who would have you believe that this is a new type of mobility with incremental benefits to the 20% to 25% already spoken for- this stretches credulity.
The productivity benefits achieved by laptop mobility exists, is real and likely cannot be improved upon unless the work/life balance does not exist.
The new generation of mobility, whether smartphones or tablets, is about being more efficient in the 20% to 25% we already have achieved. We are now talking about efficiency within productivity. There is nothing incremental in this picture.
What the new set of economics suggest is that for the business work to be completed in the 20% to 25%, we may take back some of the time from business back to personal, which perhaps mirrors the personal and consumer aspects of the devices. However, even that has yet to be proven.
Just like the cost BYO discussion I posted yesterday, everyone is scrambling to validate that gains are incremental, when clearly the gains are not.
To be fair and even handed, when the business applications reside on a handheld or tablet (or other consumer device for consumption) we as end users can get information however we want it , in our desired form factor.
But let's not equate end user preference of consumption of data with the same 20% to 25% we already counted.
This to me represents double counting and pretending that the gains already documented and delivered do not exist, or is there a new norm that defines productivity and efficiency within an already calculated benefit?
I know in writing this posting, many will not agree, so please provide your point of view.
I have always stated that there is no right or wrong answers in lifecycle management, perhaps in looking at the economics, TCO, and overall analytics this is not the case.