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Why will Mobile Business Intelligence become increasingly important?
23 Apr, 2012 - Lachlan James

Mobile Business Intelligence (BI) isn’t for everyone. Certain types of workers – time-poor senior managers, sales and field service personnel – and industries – retail, manufacturing and healthcare – stand to benefit most from the ability to consume reporting and analytics via mobile devices. But, according to recent research from the International Data Corporation (IDC), the globe’s total ‘Mobile Worker Population’ is set to climb steeply – a trend that will strengthen the demand for Mobile BI across many industries.



The IDC predicts that the world’s mobile worker population will reach 1.3 billion by 2015, representing a staggering 37.2 percent of the total workforce.

“Despite recent market turmoil, mobility continues to be a critical part of the global workforce and we expect to see healthy growth in the number of mobile workers,” said Stacy Crook, senior research analyst for IDC’s Mobile Enterprise Research program. “Our forecast shows that the worldwide mobile worker population will increase from just over 1 billion in 2010 to more than 1.3 billion by 2015.”

IDC forecast growth rates to differ significantly between regions, with large gains expected in the emerging and economically resilient economies of Asia-Pacific, but more lacklustre development in the Americas due to ongoing economic instability.

From a regional perspective, regarding the growth of mobile workers, the forecast predicted:
  • The Americas region – including the US, Canada and Latin America – will see the number of mobile workers grow from 182.5 million in 2010 to 212.1 million in 2015. North America has the largest number of mobile workers in this region, with 75 percent of its workforce mobile as of 2010.
  • Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) will see the largest increase in total number of mobile workers, climbing from 601.7 million in 2010 to 838.7 million in 2015. The IDC pointed to the continued economic expansion of populous nations, China and India, as the underlying cause for the predicted significant expansion of mobile workers in APAC.
  • In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), the mobile workforce will see a healthy compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.6 percent, growing from 186.2 million in 2010 to 244.6 million mobile workers in 2015.
  • Japan will see a declining CAGR of 0.2 percent because of its declining population base. However, the share of mobile workers will reach a penetration rate of 64.8 percent of its workforce by 2015, for a total of 38.6 million mobile workers.
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