This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

March 17, 2010

Our Increasing Mobile Workforce

A new study reveals that by the year 2013 the world's mobile worker population will grow to nearly 1.2 billion. Released last month, this International Data Corporation (IDC) forecast reports the most significant gains will be in the emerging economies of Asia/Pacific and other regions including Latin America that currently have low penetration. There, a strong economic recovery and new interest in unified communications will drive healthy growth in all aspects of mobility solutions spending.

These technologies will facilitate the growth of mobile worker populations. Interestingly, in the United States and Japan, mobile worker penetration has essentially peaked. Outside of those countries, there are large worker populations that are still growing.

"Under-served mobile workers across all regions stand to benefit from the reach and flexibility offered by mobile solutions." While there will still be some barriers to adoption, the potential mobility software market is enormous.

The IDC study, "Worldwide Mobile Worker Population 2009-2013 Forecast" provides a worldwide five-year mobile worker population forecast and analysis across three mobile worker categories (office-based, non-office-based, and home-based).

Moreover, the key findings reveal the US will remain the most highly concentrated market for mobile workers with 75.5 percent of the workforce, or 119.7 million workers, being mobile by 2013. By percentage, Japan is a close second at 74.5 percent.

Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ) represents the largest total number of mobile workers throughout the forecast, with growth to 734.5 million or 37.4 percent of the total workforce in 2013. By this time, 62 percent of the world's mobile workforce will live in the APeJ region.

The rest of the world, comprised of Canada and the emerging market countries in Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Latin America, will see its mobile worker population grow to 153.2 million by 2013. As with APeJ, the low penetration of mobile workers in the total workforce (13.5 percent) reflects significant growth potential in these markets.

Not surprisingly, areas of low penetration represent the greatest opportunities. As employers discover the myriad benefits of supporting mobile workers, e.g., higher productivity and engagement and lower employee turnover, expect these percentages to continue to increase.


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