AT&T Survey: SMBs Are Strong Adopters of Mobile Tech

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My IT Business Edge colleague Carl Weinschenk earlier this month wrote a semi-scary post about all of the big changes organizations will have to make thanks to the rapid uptake of mobility in the enterprise.


But that doesn't appear to be dampening adoption of mobile devices and applications. Case in point: An AT&T Small Business Technology Poll found 72 percent of respondents use mobile apps in their business, with 38 percent saying they could not survive-or it would be a major challenge to survive-without mobile apps.


Drivers mentioned by respondents: time savings, increased productivity and reduction of costs. GPS/navigation and mapping mobile apps are by far the most popular, with 49 percent of respondents saying they use such apps for their business.


Forty percent of SMBs report all their employees use wireless devices or wireless technologies to work away from the office, a big 66 percent jump over the past two years. AT&T expects this number to grow to 50 percent by next year.


A whopping 96 percent of small businesses use wireless technologies. Sixty-four percent say they could not survive - or it would be a major challenge to survive - without wireless technology.


I guess these results are not surprising, given AT&T's obvious interest in adoption of wireless and mobile technologies. (Interest that just went up a couple of notches, given AT&T's plan to purchase T-Mobile.)


But others seem to agree.Strong smartphone adoption was one of three technology trends offered by J. Gold Associates analyst Jack Gold that IT Business Edge blogger Paul Mah found especially significant for SMBs. Paul cited Gold's prediction that up to 35 percent of business users will employ a mobile smartphone exclusively within the next three years. He suggested that SMBs should re-evaluate decisions to deploy a new PBX system or plans to update existing ones, consider forgoing fixed lines for departments that are not desk-bound, and channel the money saved toward increasing mobile allowances instead.


Mobile devices and apps are also a big part of the BYOT (bring your own technology) trend, as Carl wrote earlier this month.