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Interop: Deloitte CTO Sees Mobile Devices Winning Over PCs

More than 5,000 employees last year told Deloitte's IT that they no longer access e-mail on their notebooks, but only on their smartphones, fueling Jerome Oglesby's theory.
Deloitte CTO Jerome Oglesby has a controversial idea for the consulting company: Many of his employees will soon abandon PCs -- even netbooks -- for mobile devices.

"We think we are moving to an environment where the ordinary PDA really becomes the platform of the future," the consulting company exec said in a session at the Interop Conference and Expo in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

"Once we move to the point where we have apps that are rich running on a personal enterprise device, we think some of our practitioners will abandon even the netbook."

Of course, Oglesby admits there are some hurdles to getting there. He wants to make sure important applications like Deloitte's ERP clients and time and expense reports can be accessed and modified on mobile devices. Video and IP telephony are still not where he'd like them to be.

However, Deloitte has a relatively young, highly mobile workforce that's on the leading edge of technology already. According to Oglesby, more than 5,000 employees last year told IT that they no longer access e-mail on their notebooks, but only on their smartphones. Deloitte had to increase the back-end storage to support that increased mobile access, and sees that as a likely trend going forward with other apps.

The mobile device won't likely replace the notebook for everyone, especially the power user, Oglesby said. After all, who wants to edit an Excel spreadsheet where only three cells are visible at once, or do complex financial modeling on a device with little computing power? That said, it could indeed become the No. 1 platform for many Deloitte employees. Doubtless Deloitte won't be the only company with this sort of idea in coming months and years.


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