While mobility is clearly having a positive effect on business processes, most businesses are not budgeting for the cost of mobile devices, according to the results of Sage North America’s second annual mobile device survey, which polled 1,090 small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in the United States.
One of the more surprising findings is that while mobility is clearly having a positive effect on business processes, most businesses are not budgeting for the cost of mobile devices.
Slightly more than three-quarters of business executives generally do not budget for mobile devices, preferring instead to purchase them as the need arises.
The survey also revealed that 5 percent said that their business sets an annual budget for mobile items and sticks to it, while slightly more than one in 10 (12 percent) set an annual budget and adjust expenditures as needed.
About two out of five respondents who use mobile applications are using a work-related application on their mobile device (other than a notebook) that connects to the cloud.
Business owners found mobile devices have also been helpful in performing business in the event of inclement weather (32 percent).
Survey participants also said that mobile devices have been helpful in bringing more work to the company (21 percent) and by giving the ability to conduct meetings remotely (20 percent).
"The survey shows that mobile technology makes doing business easier, empowers superior customer service and increases productivity," Joe Langner, executive vice president and general manager of mid-market solutions for Sage North America, said in a statement. "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."
Employees most commonly use mobile applications for checking their email (96 percent), text messaging (84 percent), managing contacts (79 percent) and their calendar (71 percent), documents (65 percent), banking (60 percent) and social media (55 percent).
Slightly more than half of the survey respondents (51 percent) said they personally use a mobile device to access work-related information remotely, meaning when they are away from the office or their main computer.
When asked about the positive effect mobile technology has had on their businesses, respondents said the biggest positive effect has been on customer service (70 percent).
Overall, more than half of the businesses responding to the survey supply their employees with mobile devices (54 percent), a figure down from 69 percent in the 2013 survey.