Study: 2014 Saw Increased SMB Mobility Adoption, Spending

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    As previous small to midsize business (SMB) reports have predicted, the 2014 Small and Medium Business Mobile Solutions Study by SMB Group shows that mobile spending by SMBs grew this year.

    According to Laurie McCabe, SMB Group partner, in her blog post, the fourth annual survey revealed that 60 percent of respondents believe that “mobile solutions are critical to our business,” which not surprisingly lead to the finding that mobility now accounts for an increasing share of the technology budget for SMBs. The report showed that SMBs with 10 to 999 employees:

    • Dedicate 11 percent of mobile budgets on apps.
    • Spend 10.5 percent of the budget on mobile security.
    • Set aside 11 percent of the funds to spend on mobile management.
    • Pay out 8 percent of those dollars on consulting services.

    Also revealed in the report was that “mobile service and device costs still account for the bulk of SMB mobile budgets.” And not surprising considering the more limited budgets of SMBs, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is on the upswing. Of those businesses surveyed, 59 percent support BYOD in the workplace, with the lead reason behind this being that SMB “employees want to use familiar devices,” according to Channelnomics.

    Mobile Device Management

    As for the remaining 41 percent of SMBs that don’t support BYOD, they cited mobile management issues and mobile security challenges as the lead stumbling blocks. However, an eWeek article points out “three areas that can give small businesses crucial security technology.” Those areas are endpoint antivirus protection, unified threat management and mobile security solutions such as mobile device management, although these solutions may also cause SMBs to increase their mobile spending budgets further.

    Of all the responses, 45 percent actually currently use some form of mobile device management tools and 36 percent manage mobile apps via an outside solution, which shows that SMBs are at least aware of such solutions and have begun to rely on them to control the explosion of mobile device usage within the SMB workplace.

    Kim Mays has been editing and writing about IT since 1999. She currently tackles the topics of small to midsize business technology and introducing new tools for IT. Follow Kim on Google+ or Twitter.

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