The business case for wireless PDAs and Smart Phones

ImateYesterday I was working on the business case for wireless PDAs and Smart Phones for my companies senior exec’s, probably VPs and above.  I found it pretty enlightening.  I am not going to share the business case, but I did have a few interesting observations to share:

  • The incredible ROI you get if you can allow and executive to release time during the core working day, by using otherwise unproductive time to process emails.  (the business case identified may more benefits)
  • The risks that a always on device brings in terms of Work Life Balance
  • The risks that information overload and constant interrupts can have on mental health.

Whilst I think there is a good business case I included this caution after presenting the ROI:

However, there are some cautions that also apply to the analysis:

  • It will take several weeks for executives to attain the levels of improvement described and for an effective usage culture to develop
  • The case partially depends on the availability of otherwise “unproductive time”
  • Whilst such time exists, there are alternative uses for this time for example networking before meetings, making phone calls, thinking etc.  These activities may have as much or greater value.  The spreadsheet allows these assumptions to be manipulated.
  • The availability of wireless Email in particular can lead to mis-use scenarios, for example:
    • the over use of email as an alternative to using the phone
    • the tendency (because of the poor keyboards and usage environment) to write terse emails that are often misinterpreted
    • the tendency to allow email processing to distract users in meetings, making them less effective
        the further extending of the working day
    • increased information overload and interrupt volume which is increasingly being shown to result in IT induced Attention Deficit Disorder.

I was lucky to have come across the following article on the effects of information overload induced ADD a couple of days before I was asked to write the business case.

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

4 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    I’ve written a bit of a side article for you over on oak-grove: http://oak-grove.typepad.com/

  2. Anonymous says:

    Did sign in, so in-case you didn’t know, it was me.

  3. Anonymous says:

    ROI and productivity are good for the business, but waht about the reverse side… If its knoiwn someone can recieve email on an always on device there can be an expectancy of always being at work and having to respond immediately

  4. Anonymous says:

    I strongly agree and this issue is fully addressed in the business case, as well as mitigation strategies and tools.

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