Most readers of this blog know that Mobility has become a widely recognized megatrend—alongside other trends such as social, cloud, and big data that are sweeping the enterprise. The numbers being reported by analysts and the press speak for themselves. People are engaging en masse in mobile computing. They love their mobile devices, and they are highly productive on them. In fact, people love their devices so much that in one survey of mobile phone users in the United States, over half said they would give up caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, and other pleasures before giving up their mobile phone! Mobile device use for business is growing rapidly. A high percentage of employees will use at least one mobile device for work and will likely bring their own. The proliferation of small, fast, powerful, and highly secure devices will enable field workers to remain close to their work and their customers.

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To help share the latest mobility trends, opportunities and challenges, we recently held a Mobility Summit in the UK called “Driving Workforce Enablement Through IT Innovation.” At this event customers and partners came together to discuss their latest mobility efforts. Not only did we have Utilities such as ScottishPower discuss their use of tablets and smartphones for improving field work, but we received a glimpse of the future from the Mobile Data Association and we highlighted best practices that Utilities could learn from other industries such as JJ Food Services and McCurrach. Hot topics discussed included rugged vs. consumer mobile devices, cost of overall operations, internal skill set requirements, infrastructure issues, bring your own device (BYOD), and changing the data culture. We would like to thank our partners Accenture, Avanade, eBECs, ESRI, Intel, IRW Systems Ltd, Sigma Seven, and TBS Enterprise Mobility for supporting this great event.

Just in case you missed it, we also announced that the Microsoft Surface family of tablets is growing. Two new Surface models - Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 - along with an expanded portfolio of new Surface accessories, will be available in 22 initial markets and additional markets will be announced in the coming months. Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 each benefit from significant updates, including improvements to processing power and battery life, to display and camera resolution, and to the Kickstand. Enhancements in Windows RT 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Pro make Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 even more powerful and customizable.

To end on our mobility theme, I want to cite a few lyrics from song “Goin' Mobile” from the legendary British rock band, The Who:

“Pull up by the curb, I can make it on the road, Goin' mobile, I can stop in any street, Out in the woods, Or in the city, It's all the same to me, When I'm drivin' free, the world's my home, When I'm mobile, Play the tape machine, Make the toast and tea, When I'm mobile, Well I can lay in bed, With only highway ahead, When I'm mobile, Keep me movin', Mobile, mobile, mobile yeah!” – Jon C. Arnold