Small Businesses Adopt Mobile Technology to Boost Business

SMBs' use of mobile solutions is nearly ubiquitous, with 91 percent now using mobile solutions to help support their businesses.

Mobile solutions account for a growing share of small to midsize business technology budgets, with SMBs on average spending between 11-20 percent of their technology budgets in the mobile space—and 68 percent expect their companies' mobile spending to increase next year, according to Research and Markets' Mobile Solutions Study.

The report, which offers data-driven insights about how U.S. SMBs are using mobile solutions in their businesses and provides trending analysis based on comparison with last year's study, found SMBs' use of mobile solutions is nearly ubiquitous, with 91 percent now using mobile solutions to help support their businesses.

The study found SMBs have a growing number of mobile apps and more diverse mobile devices to manage, and are relying more on these mobile solutions to get their jobs done. Consequently, adoption of mobile management solutions is up 15 percent over 2012.

In addition, adoption and spending across all mobile solution categories—including devices, services, applications, management, security and consulting services—are on the rise, with mobile apps and mobile management solutions experiencing the fastest growth. SMBs are also ramping up use of customer-facing mobile apps and mobile-friendly Websites to enable customers to do such things as schedule appointments, make payments and access customer service.

Survey results also indicated SMB adoption of mobile apps for employees—both collaboration apps such as email and calendars and business apps such as customer relationship management (CRM)—has risen by approximately 20 percent since 2012. And SMB adoption of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies for employees has doubled over the past year to 62 percent.

The rise of BYOD programs has also brought new challenges to businesses of all sizes in the way of security and data protection. Despite 80 percent of respondents agreeing that a BYOD program is the "new normal," only 45 percent have a formal BYOD policy in their workplace and only 51 percent were considering desktop as a service (DaaS) as a solution to access data from their mobile devices, according to a July survey of more than 700 IT decision makers by managed cloud services provider NaviSite.

In a similar Aruba survey of more than 3,000 employees worldwide, 66 percent of U.S. workers said they fear the loss of personal information from their personal device. In addition, just over half (51 percent) of U.S. workers said their IT departments do nothing to ensure the security of corporate files and applications on their personal devices. Another 11 percent said they would not immediately tell their employers if their personal devices were compromised, even if it resulted in corporate information being leaked.