China is on a fast track of social, technological and economic development; that much we can all agree. Could it however be possible, that it has already overtaken the West in terms of adopting emerging technology in the workplace?

Earlier this year, consulting group Accenture surveyed more than 400 CIOs and IT Professionals across 14 industries and countries about their development and deployment of mobility solutions. The results might embarrass our 'advanced' western economy. 

The report finds that 33% of Chinese companies are likely to trail new mobile solutions for customers and employees, ahead of the global average of 30%. The numbers might seem close, but in our fast emerging world, can we really afford to take a slower approach to innovation and the adoption of emerging technologies, than our largest and fastest growing neighbour? 

So what can we do to close the gap? Three simple, probably not easy, but definitely must-do step are;

1) Take an enterprise level view to mobility projects. This means centralising governace and capability for a group-wide approach that protects the ability for cross-SBU collaboration and the future-proofing of device management.  

2) More closely align your IT to your business. This includes your projects, IT BAU, infrastructure, EDW, indeed the whole kit and caboodle. To address the big questions of interfacing with legacy systems and in the case of BYOD, security, it is fundamental that a coordinated approach to IT across the group is employed. 

3) Innovate, develop, deploy, measure, reiterate. In this case, small incremental improvements, ergo Kaizen, are more powerful than a big-bang approach to systems renewal or new technology rollout.

The reasons to take a more proactive approach to implementing mobile solutions in our businesses is not one of competition, albeit that China is out performing us in the adoption stakes, but one of co-petition. If Alexander Bell on created the one telephone, he'd have been a lonely man with nobody to talk to. It was in sharing the technology and creating a groundswell, that he then truly realised the value of the innovation. If increased collaboration, creativity and productivity are our desired outcome, an increased mobility capability, will only multiply those outcomes in our business dealings with China.

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