Outell logoTen important trends from Outsell’s latest end-user research translate into five key takeaways centered on information budgets and allocation, mobile devices in the workplace, professionals’ use of social media, and the obstacles and factors impacting content purchasers today.

In its recent Outsell Insight, the company discusses 10 most important high-level, cross-industry findings impacting our industry today:

  • Information budget:  Only 5% of knowledge workers plan to decrease the total dollar amount spent on external content in 2014. Nearly 30% say they will spend more and 56% say the budget will remain the same.
  • Spending on digital: More than 50% of the external information purchased over the past 12 months was in digital- or online-only format.
  • Future format spending: 47% of end-users say they will decrease spending on print formats, while more than 59% will increase spending on external information in digital format.
  • Smartphone ownership: Today, 47% of professionals buying information own an iPhone, 35% have an Android, and more end-users have Microsoft-branded phones than have BlackBerrys.
  • Bring your own device: BYOD programs have eclipsed more traditional company-provided programs, with 54% of knowledge workers owning the devices they use for work purposes — smartphones primarily — and their companies reimbursing them for the cost of the phone and/or the associated services.
  • Tablets vs. laptops at work: On average, end-users are spending two hours or less per day using their tablets for work purposes and nearly half aren’t using their tablets for professional purposes at all. Knowledge workers spend more hours using laptops than tablets overall as well as for professional purposes.
  • Hours using smartphones: Microsoft-branded smartphones and Blackberrys are the only types of smartphones that users spend more hours using for work purposes than for personal reasons.
  • Information obstacles: In 2013, 43% of knowledge workers cited time constraints as one of the three biggest obstacles to acquiring information.  Also high on the list: Determining source credibility (29%), lack of budget (23%), and absence of support staff to help search for information (24%).
  • Factors when buying information: Knowledge workers say the most important factor when buying information for their jobs is that it helps save them time (83%), and this is followed closely in importance by value and accuracy of the data (77%). Monetary impact — saving money (76%) and making money (67%) — are also highly important factors.
  • Social media: Facebook is the most popular social network, with more than 80% of respondents using it regularly, but LinkedIn is in a close race for second, with 60% using it regularly. Slightly more end-users use LinkedIn for a combination of personal and professional purposes (24%) than use it solely for work- and career-related purposes (23%).

In Outsell’s opinion, these 10 important findings translate into five key takeaways:

  • Three items are repeatedly on end-users’ minds: time, value, and money.
  • Budgets are growing and migrating toward digital content.  Outsell’s research revealed that practically all knowledge workers intend to spend the same amount of money or more on external content in 2014 over 2013.
  • Smartphone ownership and brand preferences change with time. Nearly all professionals use smartphones, but distribution of ownership among device brands had changed drastically.
  • Tablets and smartphones aren’t replacing computers in the workplace. Contrary to the buzz around tablets replacing laptops, our research shows professionals do not spend significant amounts of time accessing enterprise portals or external sources of information for work on tablets.
  • Smartphones, too, have limited usefulness in the corporate world when it comes to digesting information and creating content. Laptops may still reign king in the workplace, but we can’t ignore the fact that tablet and smartphone ownership is only increasing — Outsell recommends doing everything possible to ensure that content and programs are as valuable and useable on tablets and smartphones as they are on laptops.
  • The line between professionals and consumers is becoming increasingly ambiguous. This trend is especially evident when considering the platforms that professionals choose to socialize, network, and exchange knowledge.

To read the full report contact Outsell Inc., a co-founder member of BIIA