More than 6 billion mobile-phone subscriptions are in use worldwide, of which about 5 billion
are in developing countries, according to the World Bank. In many of these countries, wireless
networks aren’t replacing outmoded wired infrastructures—they’re the ;rst communications
infrastructure of any kind.
While people in these areas may still be adjusting to the power of a phone call, they’re
also primed to take full advantage of advanced wireless technology. Mr. Marker says the
possibilities for sustainability mobile tools in emerging markets are endless, from soil sensors that help farmers know when to irrigate fields to medical tools that make remote diagnoses easier. These countries will, in some cases, be more likely than their developed-world
counterparts to adopt cutting-edge technology, because authorities don’t have to weigh
start-up costs against the diminishing returns of an existing network, he adds.
Wiring the Developing World
“The end goal
is to use as
measurements and then
to understand exactly
what the ramifications
are regarding the
data you’re actually
—Craig Marker, PMP, Microsoft, Redmond,
Mobile tech gives decision-makers access to information when they need it, and the increase in data
quality and overall e;ciency has been dramatic, says Mr. Borges. When better data-gathering and data-processing capabilities are combined with mobile technology to transmit critical information swiftly from
sensor to database, all of the elements are in place for project managers to tweak their processes on the ;y.
“When you start to bring these technologies together, you really move into a place where there’s much
more adaptive and e;cient management of production and resources, and we cut out a lot of the slack,”
says Mr. Stone. “;is could be another wave of industrial revolution.”
As organizations learn to rely on data insights more fully, more projects will emerge to drive the e;-
ciency of data collection, transfer and analysis, Mr. Stone says.
“You can even externalize the data ;ow beyond the four walls of your company and start to share
data between suppliers and partners,” he says. “We’re very, very optimistic about the potential to make
productivity gains across entire value networks, not just within an individual company. Once you have
this in place in a systematized fashion, then your gains become permanent. PM
Tracking Smarter Data