At a time when global unemployment rates are hitting record highs, results of research released today by Antenna Software finds that the mobility sector may be a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy labor market. The responses from HR managers at 600 enterprises surveyed for the project found that 74 percent of US and UK businesses currently have mobile positions to fill, with almost 1 in 3 companies (29 percent) bringing on a 'mobile strategist,' indicating that as businesses think through the secular impact of mobility, a growing number are assigning ownership for development and execution of business-wide mobile strategies to a specific individual.
Antenna's research also revealed that the demand for workers with mobile skill-sets will accelerate in the next 12 months, with more than half of all companies surveyed (51 percent) recently creating mobile-specific roles. In particular 20 percent of companies are planning to create 1-2 new mobile related roles in the next year, with some US and UK businesses, roughly 5 percent, planning to create as many as 5-10 new mobile roles in the same timeframe.
Among those companies with mobile positions to fill, 25 percent have found it difficult to find the right workers, and of those companies the vast majority (93 percent) have indicated it is not due to a lack of applicants, but rather the absence of someone with the right qualities for the job. In fact, the volume of applicants was actually cited as the key reason that 40 percent of organizations have been easily filling new mobile roles. These findings point to the importance of clearly defining what skill sets and qualities are most crucial for these new roles as they are created.
Against a backdrop of growing demand for mobile talent is the emergence of a new mobile role - the mobile strategist. Antenna's research found that nearly 30 percent of companies surveyed currently have a mobile strategist, chief mobile officer, or head of mobile that is devoted specifically to mobile strategy and execution across departments.
"While mobile and wireless technologies have been part of business culture for many years, we're actually still in the early stages and only beginning to see the broad social and economic impact it will have for many years to come," said Jim Somers, chief marketing and strategy officer for Antenna. "As mobile matures, we expect to see a greater number of businesses expand their mobile teams and identify a mobile strategist to lead the way and ensure long-term success. As companies do so, we believe they'll need a trusted partner in their corner that has the vision, experience, and technology to help with all aspects of enterprise mobile management - not the least of which is the security, integration, and performance of their apps."
Antenna's research also found that the mobile skill-sets most in-demand with UK and US businesses at the present time are those relating to mobile development and mobile management. More specifically, 20 percent of businesses are currently recruiting mobile app developers and mobile content creators, while 23 percent are looking to hire those with mobile device management (MDM) expertise. The uptick in mobile management skills is aligned with the ongoing BYOD trend that many companies are grappling with today as more new devices are released into the market.
According to the February 13, 2012 Forrester Research, Inc. report, Mobile is the New Face of Engagement, by Ted Schadler and John McCarthy, "To balance the needs of business owners building mobile apps against the technology requirements to service those apps, the first step in the mobile strategy is to create the office of the chief mobility officer and a supporting mobile architecture team. Why? Because without it, firms will waste too much time and money as marketing goes after a mobile loyalty app, sales builds tablet apps, the CFO implements mobile expense approvals, the CTO does his app in support of the new smart product line, and the head of Asia resellers builds a mobile dealer app. Further, firms taking a project approach to mobility will see redundant escalating costs, slower growth of their mobile engagement IQ, and potential damage to their brand if the app suffers due to systems failure. These problems can be mitigated with a dedicated mobile technology group."
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