Enterprise mobility investment: what you need to know

Joe Svetlik

Monday 20 July 2015

According to a recent study, the global market for enterprise mobility is about to explode – it’s expected to grow from €65 billion to €265 billion by 2019. Here’s why.

Cloud infrastructure adoption

In 2012, the European Commission adopted a strategy called ‘Unleashing the Potential for Cloud Computing in Europe’. This was intended to drive adoption of cloud computing across European countries. And it’s working. A recent Eurostat study showed European countries were catching up with their US counterparts when it came to cloud computing, with Finland leading the way. Nordic countries tend to dominate, but Italy is also up there in the top five.

Emergence of the mobile workforce

Obviously cloud computing enables the workforce to be more mobile and flexible, and hence leads businesses to invest in enterprise mobility. It’s pointless having one without the other. A few years ago, it would have been a strange sight to see someone working on their laptop in a café. But these ‘nomad workers’ are an increasingly common sight. In a study entitled Worldwide Mobile Worker Population 2011-2015 Forecast (unfortunately it’s no longer available online), IDC estimated that, by this year, the world’s mobile worker population would reach 1.3 billion – that’s more than 17 per cent of the entire population of the earth. Europe’s mobile workers were predicted to grow from 186.2 million in 2010 to 244.6 million.

Reduced hardware costs

The rise of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) means it’s now far cheaper for companies to have nomad workers. A 2013 global study showed that 44 per cent of the firms surveyed allowed BYOD, with another 18 per cent planning to do so in the next 12 months. Even if a company does kit out its employees for mobile working, laptops, tablets and smartphones are now cheaper than ever – according to The Economist, telephone equipment in Spain is now 90 per cent cheaper than 10 years ago.

Growing smartphone adoption

There’s no getting away from it, more and more people are using smartphones, and Europe is leading the way. According to an eMarketer report, in 2017, Europe will account for seven of the top 10 countries by smartphone penetration. The only non-European countries to make the list are South Korea, Australia and Japan. So it looks like we’re in good company. More smartphones naturally means more mobile workers; the two go together hand in glove.

Business is booming when it comes to mobility, and given these trends, it shows no sign of slowing down.