A survey of 1,090 small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in the U.S. by Sage North America shows that mobile technology is having a positive impact in several areas. Joe Langner, executive vice president and general manager of mid-market solutions for Sage North America, reiterated the findings:
“The Sage Mobile Device Survey shows that mobile technology makes doing business easier, empowers superior customer service and increases productivity. With important business functions like customer contact being conducted primarily on mobile devices, business owners are finding ways to take advantage of technology and are seeing mobility make a true impact on their business.”
According to the survey, 70 percent of respondents found the greatest effect was felt on customer service. Another 32 percent appreciated the ability to continue working during inclement weather, while 20 percent also cited the ability to remotely conduct meetings as a top perk. SMBs also felt that the use of mobile devices brought additional work to the business (21 percent).
The top SMB business uses for mobile apps were identified as follows:
- Checking email (96 percent)
- Text messaging (84 percent)
- Managing contacts (79 percent)
- Managing calendars (71 percent)
- Accessing documents (65 percent)
- Performing banking tasks (60 percent)
- Checking and responding to social media (55 percent)
Only slightly more than half of those surveyed (51 percent) admitted to personally using a mobile device for remotely accessing work data. And although the numbers are down from 2013, 54 percent of the respondents said they supply their employees with mobile devices.
While all of these numbers sound positive for mobility in the SMB market, the shocking data that this survey revealed was that 77 percent of those surveyed say their companies do not invest in or budget for mobile technology, but do purchase mobile devices “as the need arises.”
With all of the positives identified by those SMBs that are already embracing mobility, it would seem that those companies that ignore its benefits may fall behind. The survey did show that 44 percent of those SMBs surveyed admitted to having a BYOD policy, which shows that though they may not be investing company dollars in the technology, at least they are embracing its benefits.
After all, recent studies have shown that SMBs that adopt new technologies see growth in both revenues and job creation. So it may behoove some of those companies that do not currently invest in mobility to begin researching and budgeting to increase its usage within their business.