We are all aware that the PC has been joined by a wide range of intelligent devices and appliances, from handheld and in-car computers to Web-enabled televisions and cellular phones.

In the last five years, a number of portable information appliances, such as Handheld PCs and Pocket PCs, have become available to assist this mobile work force. These devices not only assist in managing appointments but also provide a tool for replacing paper-based business processes with forms-based applications. The increased efficiency and accuracy of capturing data quickly into a computing device can result in higher employee productivity, faster business reporting for decision-making, and reduced operational costs (e.g., avoiding the need for duplicate data entry steps), faster collection of funds and improved cash-flow.

Millions of people work in untraditional office environments. Such an environment may be a series of temporary workplaces, as in the case of traveling sales representatives or executives, or it may be that the nature of a job requires the worker to move from place to place, as in factory work, package delivery, field service or health-care professions.

Two horizontal application areas that experience measurable business improvements when extended to mobile devices involve the areas of an organization that are directly responsible for bringing in the revenue and for managing internal supply chain operations.