Half of EU organisations give employees mobile devices

Many European enterprises have made devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops available to staff, as mobility trends in the workplace continue to prevail.

A report from the European Union’s statistics arm EuroStats, shows that 48 percent of organisations in the EU27 have provided mobile devices to their employees, a figure which is much higher for large enterprises.   For the 27 countries, 88 percent provided staff with mobile devices.

Within the United Kingdom the figure was higher.   Across organisations of all sizes, 56 percent gave employees mobile devices to aid mobility and remote working.   51 percent of small businesses (between 10 and 49 employees) have handed people mobile devices, rising to 81 percent for mid sized businesses, (50 to 249) and 93 percent for enterprise class organisations (250 or more).

However the UK ranked lower than other European countries, particularly in the Nordic region, with large uptake in Sweden (63 percent), Norway (68 percent) and the biggest user of mobile devices, Finland (78 percent).

The type of device was equally split between portable computers, such as tablets and laptops, and smartphones or PDAs.  For the 27 European nations 40 percent of organisation providing mobile devices gave staff portable PCs, with 39 opting for other portable devices.    In the UK the figures were 45 percent for laptop and tablets, and 52 percent providing smartphones and other similar devices.

The most common use of mobile devices was to access work emails, with 88 percent of organisations in Europe allowing this.  Less were confident to allow wider access to IT systems, as 56 percent enabled the remote modification of documents, and less than half allowing dedicated business applications.  

This was roughly inline with the UK, with nearly all employees handed a mobile device allowed to access emails and readily available websites, while the majority were not allowed to use secure applications.

Mobile devices are becoming increasingly common in the workplace, as companies both provide hardware for their employees and, in many cases, allow them to bring their own device.  This has helped boost sales for mobile devices as the ubiquity of the dekstop PC is challenged.

According to research released by analyst house IDC yesterday, the total number of smart devices, including desktops, tablets, smartphones and other connected devices grew 27.1 percent in the past year. Unit shipments for all devices are also expected to continue to grow at a fast pace, with rising from 1.1 billion in 2012 to 2.1 billion in 2016.