The increase in mobile working has created a surge in instances of data loss.
This is the experience of data protection and recovery specialist, Ontrack, which has noted a 30 per cent increase in calls to its centres since June.
Executives at the company said the increase in numbers of mobile workers and their failure to backup important information has resulted in the surge in data loss situations.
In fact, the company said it has doubled the size of its call centre as a result.
Ben Allen, European managing director for Ontrack Europe commented: "There are additional risks as a mobile user, there's a lot of banging around. One common mistake is if someone is saving something to disk and then moves the machine during the process, then you get a real mess on your hands," he said.
Allen said that the majority of the company's data recovery jobs are done on laptops, handheld PCs are also becoming a problem.
"I suspect this will get worse," he said. "In all cases the equipment cost is easy to calculate, but the data loss can be priceless. We've even had customers saying if you can't save the data then we'll go out of business."
Industry analyst Gartner also warned last month that handheld devices would drive up the total cost of ownership by nearly $1800 per device.
Company analyst Ken Dulaney said that a $450 Palm based personal digital assistant (PDA) can cost an organisation nearly $2700 per year. He said the bulk of this money is spent on end user operations and downtime, which account for nearly 40 per cent of cost.
Then comes capital, which accounts for 24 per cent of cost. Administration costs total 23 per cent and technical support represents 13 per cent of cost.
He commented: "The total cost of ownership (TCO) of a Windows CE based PDA is slightly higher at $2790 per year, as these devices require more technical support due to the complexity of the user interface."
Dulaney recommended that handheld PCs and PDAs be treated by organisations, as other enterprise owned devices, despite the fact that they are often purchased by individuals.
"PDAs in most enterprises are purchased by individuals, but as these devices begin to hold ever more sensitive corporate data, they must become managed corporate assets," he said.
"We recommend that enterprises consider purchasing PDAs for employees to eliminate the uncertainty of who controls the data on the device," he added.
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