Remote access projects have 50-50 chance, Gartner says

Only half of all pilot programs launched between now and 2000 that allow employees to work remotely will succeed, according to market research firm GartnerGroup. But despite the glum prediction, more than 137 million business users worldwide will be involved in some form of remote work by 2003, GartnerGroup says. Businesses will be compelled to try out remote access programs because of the potential they offer for gaining a competitive edge and improving productivity, the research firm said.

Only half of all pilot programs launched between now and 2000 that allow employees to work remotely will succeed, according to market research firm GartnerGroup.

But despite the glum prediction, more than 137 million business users worldwide will be involved in some form of remote work by 2003, GartnerGroup says. Businesses will be compelled to try out remote access programs because of the potential they offer for gaining a competitive edge and improving productivity, the research firm said.

The findings were presented by John Girard, vice president and research director at GartnerGroup, in a keynote presentation at the company's "Remote Access: Building and Managing the Workplace of the Future" conference in Buena Vista, Florida.

A fallacy in the business world has it that remote access can be justified on cost savings alone, when the cost of managing remote workers is in fact 60 percent to 160 percent greater than those of their in-office counterparts once factors like equipment, support and network charges are factored in, Girard said.

"In the future, when remote access becomes mainstream, the major benefit will be having the right employees in the right place so they can capitalize on business opportunities as they arise," he said in a statement.

But organizations must prepare for the changing environment by addressing issues like supervision and morale, legal liability, occupational safety, security and cost, Girard said.

GartnerGroup, in Stamford, Connecticut, can be contacted on the Web at http://www.gartner.com/.

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