“This is an extraordinarily large and growing market – Southeast Asia is five years behind the development cycle of India and India is five years behind the development cycle of China. It’s truly a mobile-first environment and it allows you to truly innovate from a zero-to-one perspective.” – Eduardo Saverin, who was willing to put a finger of certainty over the growing opportunity in Southeast Asia.
The region though, unlike its western counterparts, totally skipped Web eras 1.0 and 1.5, and saw it experience its first proper online experience with the help of Facebook, back in 2007. Thailand for instance has seen its mobile internet penetration see a huge leap from 1% in 2009, to an astronomical 56% in 2013 with its launch of 3G in early 2013. This staggering rate of adoption even surpasses mature markets like the U.S and China, who can only boast of 40 and 34 percent respectively.
The Southeast Asian market will continue seeing consumer demand and global businesses no longer being able to stave off interest because critical data can be easily accessed, productivity is increased, and its efficacies lauded.
According to a global study conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a mobile-first work environment sees a great deal of correlation with employee engagement, in that an employee experiences a boost in productivity (16%), creativity (18%), satisfaction (23%), and loyalty (21%) as compared to an employee who is immersed in an environment that is stagnant in mobile technology.
When businesses tailor their infrastructures to empower the average employee with fast, flexible, and reliable connectivity, they release the noose around their necks that is often felt by being tethered to a desk that is likewise tethered to a desk phone. With more coverage and capacity provided by being mobile, employees find that their responsibilities aren’t nauseating anymore.
A mobile-first strategy is also about the customer who is more often found on his mobile phone, than the traditional desktop. They spend most of their time researching via their mobile phones, which is a fact that hasn’t been lost on the economy in general. With most businesses still married to their desktops, what needs to be internalized is that one needs to be up close and personal with customers for them to take notice of.
“The rise in mobile collaboration tools presents new ways for businesses to keep teams together and working effectively, even if they are physically apart. It’s clear that companies who are able to do this are in a better place to attract and retain the best employees.” – Chris Kozup, VP of Marketing at Aruba.
The concept of a hot-desking environment has been around for some time now and has contributed to the rise in collaborative environments, something Southeast Asia has taken a leaf out of from the UK, Australia, Germany, and India, who all lead in hot-desking environments. Mobile environments, it can be said, are key for bigger cities, whose natives face the perennial problem of traffic, which shaves off precious hours in a day for talent to work on their gifts.
While being mobile has seen many a business gain intensity in their business clout, there needs to be a formidable mobile security strategy in place too, seeing as mobile itself is very disruptive by nature.
Some of the risks to address:
Just as we have evolved from being a desk-bound workforce to one that is more mobile as time goes by, enterprises and establishments have to evolve from the old adage that is simply: ‘protect and recover’, to one that ropes in real-time insights and predictive intelligence to stay ahead of threats in the accompanying cybersecurity evolution.