Reality Check: BYOD and mobility in emerging markets

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Editor’s NoteWelcome to our weekly Reality Check column. We’ve gathered a group of visionaries and veterans in the mobile industry to give their insights into the marketplace.

More than buzzwords, bring your own device (BYOD) and mobility are real technological trends that have been adopted widely by the ICT industry. Both are completely linked, and one trend is the other’s growth engine. The more we use our personal devices in work environments, the more we depend on mobile solutions such as LTE, Wi-Fi and 3G, among others.

A recent study commissioned by Logicalis Group and conducted by the Ovum Institute clearly shows that the growth index of BYOD adoption is significantly larger in emerging markets, such as Brazil, India, Russia and Malaysia, than in more mature markets. In Brazil, for example, more than 65% of those interviewed said they use some form of BYOD, while in France only 30% made a similar statement. According to the survey, the average BYOD adoption growth in emerging markets is more than 74%.

Certainly some symptomatic factors stimulate this growth. For example, in Latin America few companies provide their employees with tablets or smartphones. However, employees feel free to use their own devices to improve their work/life balance. The Ovum study clearly concludes that BYOD is motivated by the behavior of employees who believe that continuous connectivity to corporate applications helps them play their professional roles better. We have found that most often employees want to be connected with continuous mobility and be able to access company tools with a wide variety of personal devices.

Obviously, such behavior has a direct impact on companies’ IT departments, mainly in terms of information security. But in general, CIOs see that there are more benefits in allowing BYOD using MDM solutions and access control, among other tools, rather than forbidding these practices in their organizations.

Another very interesting point in this study is the fact that BYOD is motivated by the desire to have only one device to access information, whether it  is personal or corporate. This is an interesting opportunity for telecom operators to provide not only wireless connectivity (3G, LTE or Wi-Fi) but also portal access to corporate and personal tools using mobile cloud solutions.

In the last 50 years, we have seen frequent ICT innovation waves, each one promising to change the way companies do business. Certainly, wireless mobility is one of these waves, and it stimulates behavior changes such as BYOD. The Ovum study with more than 3,790 professionals interviewed around the world gives us a clear signal that especially in the emerging countries, the BYOD wave is reaching companies with such power that it deserves a lot of attention from CIOs and maybe from telecom operators that can offer products beyond connectivity.

Lucas Pinz is network manager at PromonLogicalis.

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About Author

Editor, Americas
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Roberta Prescott is responsible for Latin America reporting news and analysis, interviewing key stakeholders. Roberta has worked as an IT and telecommunication journalist since March 2005, when she started as a reporter with InformationWeek Brasil magazine and its website IT Web. In July 2006, Prescott was promoted to be the editor-in-chief, and, beyond the magazine and website, was in charge for all ICT products, such as IT events and CIO awards. In mid-2010, she was promoted to the position of executive editor, with responsibility for all the editorial products and content of IT Mídia. Prescott has worked as a journalist since 1998 and has three journalism prizes. In 2009, she won, along with InformationWeek Brasil team, the press prize 11th Prêmio Imprensa Embratel. In 2008, she won the 7th Unisys Journalism Prize and in 2006 was the editor-in-chief when InformationWeek Brasil won the 20th media award Prêmio Veículos de Comunicação. She graduated in Journalism by the Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Campinas, has done specialization in journalism at the Universidad de Navarra (Spain, 2003) and Master in Journalism at IICS – Universidad de Navarra (Brazil, 2010) and MBA – Executive Education at the Getulio Vargas Foundation.

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