Businesses are deploying mobile working technologies, but are failing to measure the impact they have on the productivity of mobile workers, said analyst firm Gartner.
The result is that IT projects aimed at improving the efficiency of mobile workers are failing to deliver business benefits, said analyst Scott Morrsion.
"Ninety per cent of businesses now have remote workers but twenty five per cent have not defined service levels to support these workers," he said.
Morrison said that IT managers must ensure that mobile workers have access to the right type of connectivity, irrespective of their location, to deliver business benefits,
Organisations should conduct a segmentation analysis of the likely locations a mobile worker could work from - for example, a home office, a branch office or at a client site - and then determine how the worker could connect under each of these scenarios.
"Do not assume your mobile workers will always be connecting through one type of network connection from one type of site and device. Mobile workers need a flexible IT infrastructure to be truly effective. Draft your mobile IT project plans with users in different scenarios to deliver a consistent mobile experience."
Morrsion said that IT support desks also needed to be rearranged around the mobile worker, who can operate in different time zones, and should not just be geared to delivering support to the desk users.
Businesses with a dependency on mobile workers, those with salesmen in field for example, should audit the productivity of mobile workers to check that their mobile IT strategy is delivering business benefits.
Frank Bieser, director of IT at Herold Business Data, the Austrian Yellow Pages, manages a team of software developers who work remotely and audits their performance.
He measured a reduction in programming errors and an increase in the number of tasks completed to prove to the business that mobile working delivered over fixed-desk working.
"There can be mistrust when you do not see an employee in the office. We started with a small team of programmers who began working remotely and then used the measurements to roll out mobile working across the company. It was a big part of selling remote working."