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The global device divide - PC or mobile?

01 Dec 2016

A recent Gartner survey has shown that employees prefer desktops PCs as their corporate or work device.

And, while 80% of workers surveyed received one or more corporate-issued devices, desktops are still the most popular corporate device among businesses - with more than half of workers receiving corporate-issued desktop PCs.

The survey findings are based on the 2016 Gartner Personal Technologies Study, which was conducted from June to August 2016 among 9,592 respondents around the world.

Gartner found that 36% of workers received laptops, including convertible laptops and adoption of convertible laptops as a corporate-issued device is still very low, but has been gradually increasing.

Analysts expect that more employees will receive convertible laptops in the next three years, driven by the Windows 10 refresh, enhancing the user experience with touch-based input.

Gartner also discovered that the majority of smartphones used in the workplace are personally owned devices and only 23% of employees surveyed are given corporate-issued smartphones.

"The low adoption of corporate-issued mobile devices underlines the fact that large numbers of personally owned mobile devices are used in the workplace," says Mikako Kitagawa, principal research analyst at Gartner.

"In fact, more than half of employees who used smartphones at work rely solely on their personally owned smartphones."

Also, only 21% of employees use tablets - regardless of whether they are corporate issued or personally owned.

"In the era of mobility, it comes as something of a surprise that corporate usage of smartphones and tablets is not as high as PCs, even when the use of personally owned devices is taken into account," adds Kitagawa.

"While it's true that the cost of providing mobile devices can quickly escalate, proper usage of mobile devices can increase productivity, which can easily justify the extra costs."

However, employees are generally happy with the devices that they receive – when the company provides them with something.

"Usage of personally owned devices in the workplace is nothing new, but the survey results confirm that this trend has become a new workplace standard. Two-thirds of survey respondents said that they use a personally owned device or devices for work," explains Kitagawa.

"Smartphones and phablets are the most popular personally owned devices used for work, with 39 percent of employees using them, compared with just 10 percent who are only using corporate-issued smartphones and phablets."

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