'Live to work' drives BYOD in emerging markets

A ‘live-to-work’ ethos is driving faster BYOD (bring your own device) adoption in high-growth markets, when compared with mature markets, says analyst Ovum.


A ‘live-to-work’ ethos is driving faster BYOD (bring your own device) adoption in high-growth markets, when compared with mature markets, says analyst Ovum.

Helping drive this trend, said Ovum, is a lower rate of corporate provision of mobile handsets and tablets to staff in emerging markets.

Across 17 markets studied, 57.1 percent of full-time employees engage in some form of BYOD. But 75 percent of respondents in the emerging high-growth markets (including Brazil, Russia, India, UAE and Malaysia) demonstrated a much higher propensity to use their own devices at work, compared to 44 percent in more mature markets.

“Employees in high-growth economies are demonstrating a more flexible attitude to working hours, and are happy to use their own devices for work,” said Ovum analyst Richard Absalom.

"But in mature markets employees have settled into comfortable patterns of working behaviour and are more precious about the separation of their work and personal domains.”

He added: “This difference in behaviour will shape not just future patterns of enterprise mobility in high-growth markets compared to mature markets, but also dictate which markets, structurally, are going to benefit most from this revolution in how and where we work.”

For its research Ovum questioned 3,796 adults across Brazil, Russia, India, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, the UK, and the US.

Ovum’s research also suggests that employees in high-growth markets see BYOD as a way to get ahead in their careers, with 79 percent believing that constant connectivity to work applications enables them to do their jobs better, compared to 53.5 percent in mature markets.

A notable anomaly to this trend is Spain, where 62.8 percent of employees bring their own devices to work – well above the developed market mean. “This could have something to do with the struggling economy - people are willing to use any and all means necessary to get ahead in their jobs, as losing them could be disastrous given the high rates of unemployment,” said Absalom.

But it's not just good staff productivity news for companies when considering BYOD.

Employees that are using their own smartphones for work rank connectivity cost as the least important factor when choosing a mobile network, creating the potential for "bill shock" for enterprises that don't have cost control policies as part of their BYOD plans, according to other research. 

Enterprise WiFi connectivity firm iPass surveyed 1,700 mobile employees worldwide and found that the proportion of workers’ smartphones provisioned by employers has declined from 58 to 33 percent, while self-provisioning has risen to 46 percent, up from 42 percent last year.

“With more workers turning to their smartphones for work, data usage is growing rapidly across multiple devices. As this BYOD trend continues to explode enterprises are seeing the effects both in rising productivity and in rising network costs," said Evan Kaplan, CEO of iPass.

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