Asia: The New Land of Opportunity?

By Joe Budelli posted 11-27-2010 18:00


For nearly every business, Asian countries represent tremendous potential market opportunities due to their large populations, disposable income and love for technology.  Part of my travel brings me throughout this region on a frequent basis, yet every time I arrive, I am amazed.

Tokyo is easily one of the most awe inspiring cities. The Japanese are a culture that loves technology.  If you look around Tokyo at night you can see this infatuation with gadgets personified by the neon billboards for brands like Sony, Hitachi and Toshiba.  You also cannot walk 10 feet without seeing people with their eyes glued to their keitai (mobile phone).

Smartphones are quickly taking the Asian markets by storm.  In fact, MM Research, a research firm based in New Zealand, forecasts that in Japan alone, 3.86 million smartphones with make their way into the hands of end users in 2010.  Apple’s iPhone is expected to account for 60 percent of these smartphones.  MM Research further forecasts that the total smartphone market in Japan will skyrocket to 20.3 million units in the fiscal year ending in March 2016. 

This is really just the tip of the iceberg.  Smartphones snapped up by consumers in Asian countries combine with the emerging trend of enterprise mobility to create a market ripe with opportunity. IDC sees Asian countries entering a third phase of enterprise mobility adoption.  This stage moves beyond ubiquitous functions like mobilizing basic messaging or business applications (i.e. Salesforce Mobile).  Asian organizations and employees are focused on mobilizing core enterprise processes through the incorporation of data capture into mobile applications.

With the range of functions that the region performs via their phones, mobile capture instantly takes on greater importance. Whether it be translation, bar code scanning, or text recognition the Asian countries represent tremendous opportunity.

As the capture community looks to fulfill the enterprise mobility needs of the Asian markets, it is important to keep in mind that we are dealing with an already highly advanced mobile culture. Japan is already fully engaged in using their mobile phones in most daily transactions, however, Korea and China also quickly moving this direction. Mobile phones in these countries serve many different functions, from being an e-wallet and distributing national television, to delivering learning materials and serving as an entertainment hub. Since the average consumer already has experience using their phone to perform various tasks, the barrier to entry and education needed to gain adoption of enterprise mobility applications is significantly decreased.

I am headed back to Japan in 2011 and will report back with more examples of the innovation taking place and the applications that will drive further growth for mobile capture in that region. In the mean time, what do you see being a driver for mobile capture in Japan?

#mobile #ScanningandCapture #OCR #smartphone #datacapture