The new government workforce: Think global, more mobile

It seems that every day there are new statistics being published about mobile work trends. And, while I typically scan across them, one in particular recently stood out to me. According to IT analytics firm IDC, by 2015, the world's mobile worker population is expected to reach 1.3 billion, more than 37 percent of the total global workforce.

That’s a staggering number of mobile workers, and it’s a movement that I believe communicates one thing clearly: mobile work is no longer on the horizon; it’s here, and it is rapidly becoming a global phenomenon.

Looking closer by region, here are some additional global stats from the IDC report forecasting the growth of mobile work:

  • The Asia-Pacific region (excluding Japan) will see an increase in mobile workers reaching 838.7 million by 2015 (compared to 601.7 million in 2010). According to IDC’s estimates, this region will see the single largest increase in the total number of mobile workers.
  • By 2015, the Americas region will have 212.1 million mobile workers (up from 182.5 million in 2010).
  • In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), the mobile workforce will expand to 244.6 million in 2015 (from 186.2 million in 2010).

What this means for virtually all organizations, both private and public sector, is that the next few years will be critical as they begin developing the infrastructure and tools to support these modern workers, who will increasingly expect a flexible work style.

However, this challenge is certainly not without self-interest. Beyond supporting the needs of these “new” workers and attracting a next generation of employees, there are also huge opportunities to be realized at the organizational level by embracing mobile work. By enabling flexible work on-the-go, governments stand to boost productivity, create more collaborative and effective work environments, and eliminate silos that can result in real cost savings. Take, for example, the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence (MOD), which is reportedly saving millions of pounds over the next decade through a remote workforce initiative. The project entailed providing roughly 10,000 remote users with secure access to its line-of-business applications—served up via an online self-service portal. Read more about the MOD’s successful initiative.

That’s not to say that making the transition to mobile work is always easy, nor does telework come without its technical and cultural challenges. However, the good news is that having the right tools in place to support any work style, from any location, on any device can go a long way to ease the transition. That’s what we learned in a recent online poll we conducted in the United States to learn how this government community is moving toward mobility. If you’re considering this transition for your organization, be sure tocheck out our website to learn more about our government workplace modernization solutions.

Have a comment or opinion on this post? Let me know @Microsoft_Gov. Have a question for the author? Please e-mail us at ongovernment@microsoft.com.

Joel Cherkis
General Manager, Worldwide Government

About the Author

Joel Cherkis | General Manager, Worldwide Government

Joel leads a team of business development and technology professionals supporting policy decisions and the delivery of relevant and scalable technology solutions into public sector markets around the world. Read More