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Mobility's place on the corporate landscape

It is perhaps emblematic of the dot-com era to have purchased technology for technology's sake. In the heady days of the boom, caution was often thrown to the wind, along with decision-making processes that tied together business and technology requirements.

"Throw technology at a problem -- that will solve it." This was the first wave.

Today, the lessons of that period have not been lost, and managers use such measures as return on investment (ROI) and total cost of ownership (TCO) to aid in making such purchasing determinations.

"Run the numbers." This is the second wave.

About the author

Jonathan B. Spira is CEO and chief analyst at Basex, an analysis firm that specializes in collaborative business knowledge in the enterprise. Click here to contact Basex.

Organizations within every large enterprise are seeking the optimal path to enterprise-wide Collaborative Business Environments (CBEs) -- the nexus between knowledge sharing, collaboration, and the business itself. Companies that build solid and well-structured CBEs will leverage their people and knowledge while creating environments that enable people to work more productively.

With the changing work environment, by 2006 more than 40% of knowledge workers will be based in a location other than the traditional office, and practically every knowledge worker today has some form of mobile information access, even if limited to a mobile phone.

Some managers haven't necessarily recognized how mobility fits into the corporate landscape. Until recently, the purchase of mobile devices was completely ad hoc and generally on a small scale; however, since business conditions change moment by moment, many knowledge workers need the support of corporate infrastructure regardless of whether they are in an office or in the club room at the airport.

But until now, it has been difficult to assess the impact of a mobile device deployment on the organization in meaningful terms. And what is meaningful is to look at how such technologies may positively impact the knowledge workers who, increasingly, have become a significant feature in the corporate landscape.

This enquiry brings us to the third wave, where buyers relate a tool or technology to how it will impact those who use it, which naturally has a further impact on bottom-line profitability, as well as on an organization's ability to best its competition.

Basex developed the Knowledge Worker Impact Quotient (KWIQ) Index to help companies planning to deploy Collaborative Business Environments identify, understand, and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the available tools as they apply to specific business and IT requirements.

This week, we are releasing the Knowledge Worker Impact Quotient Position Paper No. 1 as a free download. You are invited to not only review a copy of this report, but also to give me your thoughts and feedback at

You'll notice the absence of a conclusion in Position Paper No. 1; we consider this report the first of several and eagerly await your point of view on the subject as we continue along the path of helping technology buyers make the right decisions.

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