The Anytime, Anywhere iWorker

Recently, my colleague Melissa Parrish wrote a great report on the Always-Addressable Customer, a population of ultra-connected consumers for whom mobile is a key touchpoint. Based on the number of Internet-connected devices they use, the locations they connect from and the frequency with which they go online each day, Melissa's analysis showed that 38% of online adults in the US already meet the criteria of always-addressable.

Her analysis got me thinking about information workers (iWorkers). What percentage of iWorkers -- based on the number and diversity of devices, locations and applications used for work -- could be called "Anytime, Anywhere iWorkers"? There are about 79 million iWorkers in the US today, about one-third of the total US online population of 247 million. Using our Forrsights Workforce Employee Survey of about 5000 iWorkers, we discovered that 15.1% -- or about 12 million -- meet our criteria of 3 connected devices, 3 locations and at least 7 applications used for work in any given month.

Devices obviously aren't the gating factor here as 41% of iWorkers surveyed use at least three devices for work, and more than a third work from at least three locations. What keeps the number low is application usage. Only 23% use at least 7 applications. Last week, J.P. Gownder and I delivered a webinar and wrote a blog post about the business landscape for tablets. We shared data that said that by 2016 a third of all tablets sold would be sold to businesses (courtesy of Frank Gillett's tablet report), that 82% of businesses have an interest in using tablets and that the breadth of applications used for work on tablets is significantly wider than smartphones. Add in all the tablets purchased for life that are then brought to work and the bottom line for me is that tablets will drive the Anytime, Anywhere iWorker number much higher by adding another device to portfolio, enabling access from more possible work locations and enabling a ton of new touch-enabled applications.

What's your opinion? Will tablets live up to expectations as a business tool? Aside from email/calendar/contacts, what applications do you need tablet-enabled for work? We'd love to hear your thoughts.