The Asia-Pacific region is home to both the world’s largest smartphone market (China, with an estimated 466 million of them this year9) and its fastest-growing market (India). And while much of the world may be adjusting to the idea that mobile technology is reshaping every customer interaction and experience, for many in this region the smartphone has already ascended to become their primary portal to the internet.
That said, it’s also true that Asia-Pacific has historically relied on manufacturing exports to fuel its economy, and now comprises economies that are evolving and modernizing (or attempting to) at different rates, moving into markets that cater to domestic customers.
Owing, perhaps, to the region’s vast geographic scale and its large number of local governments, companies in the Asia-Pacific region appear to be playing catch-up with the other major regions. Compared to the overall results of the four regions (which includes Asia-Pacific), the region’s companies have higher expectations for what they will achieve by the end of 2015. For nearly every data-collection tool in the survey, a higher percentage of Asia-Pacific firms expect to see greater growth than the regions do, overall. Nearly 60% of our Asia-Pacific participants expect to be deploying sensors by the end of 2015, compared to nearly 44% overall.
A narrow range of between 26% and 30% expect to be using other monitoring tools mentioned in the study. In overall results, 35% expect to be using wearable digital devices, while only slightly more (57%) expect to be gathering data from the products they sell online by the end of 2015. The sole anomaly is statistically insignificant: While 77% of respondents in all of the regions expect to be using mobile apps by the end of 2015, the proportion of Asia-Pacific firms that envision such an achievement amounts to 79%.
Exhibit ll-5: Asia-Pacific Companies use Mobile Apps to connect to Digital