Ever since mobile devices invaded our lives, you knew that it was always in the offing: the day would come when businesses would find it impossible to function without these compact marvels of modern technology. Well, despite our best efforts to reduce our efficiency by spending endless hours on Angry Birds and the like, it seems that that day has indeed dawned on us if you go by the results of the The Mobility Edge: CDW’s 2012 Small Business Mobility Report.
The CDW people talked to small business employees who are mobile device users, as well as small business IT professionals in several mobile ready industries. The findings have literally put the writing on the wall: mobile devices do give small businesses a competitive edge in the market. The survey findings have been compactly illustrated in a nifty little video:
The survey was taken across 5 mobile ready industries like food, retail, manufacturing, construction and professional services from the US, involving more than 700 mobile users.. Across the spectrum, they found that mobile devices drastically increase the accessibility of small businesses to their customers. More accessibility meant more customer satisfaction. Three-fourths of the respondents found their use of the devices critical to their job. It has reached such a state that more than two-thirds of users feel that their business would lose customers and competitive ground without mobile devices.
If that wasn’t enough to convince one to join the mobile bandwagon, there are more compelling numbers in the results. Mobile devices were linked to increased efficiency in their businesses by 94% of small business users. This would explain why managers are increasingly encouraging their employees to use their own mobile devices at work, by initiatives such as “Bring Your Own Device” or BYOD and increased use of productivity enhancing apps.
No wonder then that over 89% of employees are using their own mobile devices at work. BYOD is a prevalent trend, but all is not rosy out there. While it has been amply demonstrated that the new technology of tablets and other mobile devices opens up a whole new dimension in terms of efficiency and competitiveness, risks abound when it comes to adopting these techs in a secure manner.
The marked reticence among IT managers in adopting mobile device management strategies seems to clearly indicate a lack of adequate means of securing mobile devices and company networks and data against security risks. More IT solutions for security management is required, as only a fifth of IT managers has deployed any such safeguards in their companies. Still almost half of IT managers surveyed have employed some kind of mobile management strategies in their companies.
The numbers speak for themselves. There is no way but upwards when it comes to trends in mobile device usage by small businesses, despite some minor roadblocks.