The Faces of Mobile IT

Road warriors, blue-collar workers and telecommuters need different devices -- and raise different support issues.

Every help desk worker has had this nightmare call: High-powered, egotistical executive (or lawyer or salesman) is furious that his laptop or wireless gadget won't work. Expletives fly. He needs the information -- now! -- to close a multimillion-dollar deal. If the deal falls through and the company doesn't hit its quarterly numbers, it's all IT's fault, he sputters.

Sigh. How did we get to this point? Obviously, corporate America has become addicted to mobile connectivity, and the better service it gets, the more it expects. But feeding this addiction isn't easy for the IT department. In <i>Computerworld</i>'s survey of 190 IT professionals, 59% said supporting mobile employees is more expensive than supporting desktop users. And by far the most difficult people to support are -- you guessed it -- white-collar road warriors such as executives and salespeople.

But there are other mobile or remote employees who need IT support too: blue-collar workers, telecommuters, call center agents and the wireless nomads who, while traveling from room to room and building to building, expect to remain connected to the corporate network the whole time. In the following pages, you'll hear their stories (including their wish lists), as well as the stories of the IT people who support them.

Our survey found that end users' No. 1 complaint about mobile devices is the challenge of "getting and staying connected." As columnist Mark Hall explains (see Real Magic ), end users expect real-time data anywhere they happen to be, and it's your job to make that happen.

See the complete special report.

Mitch Betts is executive editor at Computerworld. He can be reached at

Special Report

The Faces of Mobile IT

Different types of mobile workers, such as road warriors, telecommuters and blue-collar workers, need different forms of IT support.

Stories in this report:

Online Exclusives

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  • Executive Briefing:
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  • Lone Warrior:
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    Click here to view this webcast.

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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