Most people have one technology tool they can’t live without. For financial executives, it’s the cell phone. In a USA survey of chief financial officers (CFOs), cell phones topped the list as the most indispensable portable technology device, with 44% of the response. Laptop computers came in close second, cited by 39% of executives polled.
Similar surveys in 2002 and 1999 also found the cell phone to be CFOs’ tool of choice, as 46% and 51% of respondents, respectively, said it was their favorite electronic communication device. Laptops ranked second, with 33% of the response in 2002 and 26% in 1999.
The surveys were developed by Robert Half Management Resources on a project and interim basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with more than 20 employees.
CFOs were asked, “Which of the following portable technology devices do you consider most indispensable in your life?” Their responses:
Cell phone 44%
Laptop computer 39%
Wireless handheld 8%
Mini hard drive 4%
Don’t know/no answer 2%
“Reflecting the needs of today’s busy professionals, the latest cell phone technology combines the best of both worlds, including e-mail and Internet access that allow for expanded capabilities in one tool,” said Paul McDonald, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. “These multifunctional phones are fast becoming one device executives are expected to own and use.”
McDonald cautions that while mobile devices increasingly have become a necessity in our lives, they can keep us connected to work around-the-clock. “Turning off a cell phone even for brief periods, particularly on nonworking weekends, allows executives to fully enjoy a break from business.”