Media and IT professionals are buzzing about BYOD thanks to the increasing adoption of personal mobile devices being used for work in China. To delve deeper into BYOD usage in Chinese enterprises, Forrester conducted a brief survey of 28 senior IT professionals who attended a BYOD seminar organized by online media company ZOL, a subsidiary of CBSi, in Beijing. I found the results interesting, and believe the feedback reveals important Chinese BYOD trends and enterprise views on the BYOD phenomenon:
The focus is still on BYOD rather than BYOT. The proliferation of mobile devices is changing the BYOD landscape in China. More companies are allowing their employees to bring their own mobile devices, not just for cost savings, but also for productivity and anytime, anywhere work. However, only a few companies realized the trend of bring-your-own-technology, including software and mobile apps, with just 8 respondents allowing self-purchased software on PCs and mobile devices. This finding supported our observation that many Chinese organizations are still playing on the BYOD field rather than BYOT. In fact, in my conversations with SMEs, I’ve found they seldom realize it is necessary to manage applications on these devices used for business, or they simply do not want to manage them. Some SMEs also don’t buy the necessary business applications for their employees and adopt a “don’t-ask, don't-tell” policy on employee's use of pirated software.
How much would it cost to establish a taxi dispatching system in a city of 20 million people, with nearly 66,000 taxis jamming the roads? Consider that Singapore, with a population of about 5 million, has spent tens of millions of dollars to build a customized system with screens and sensors installed in almost every taxi and a large-scale call center to support it.
Now with the wide availability and affordability of smartphones, entirely new innovative approaches that are light on infrastructure can be employed to reduce cost and time-to-value. A good example is a mobile application recently launched in Beijing called Didi Taxi that works like this:
Passengers and drivers download the app. There are two versions, currently available on both iOS and Android. Drivers download the app to accept orders; passengers download the app to order taxis.
Passengers bid for taxis through their mobile phones. When a passenger opens the app, they see their current location on the map and the density of available taxis nearby based on the GPS tracking on both passengers’ and drivers’ devices. Passengers then use their voice to specify their exact location and destination, and — most importantly — how much extra on top of the metered fare they are willing to pay (normally ranging from $1 to $3).
Taxi drivers confirm the booking. The system automatically broadcasts the message to all nearby taxis (within either a 1 km or 2 km radius) based on the density of nearby taxi drivers using the app. The first driver to respond within 90 seconds will get the order. If no drivers respond, the message goes out again to all drivers in a larger radius.