Mobile technology is a friend indeed to small business. For businesses that do the bulk of their work in the field, having access to information and data via smartphones and tablets has been a boon for productivity and business communications.
AT&T polled small businesses as part of its just-released 2012 AT&T Small Business Technology Poll. They asked SMBs questions about mobile applications, general wireless technologies, smartphones and tablets.
Here are a few key findings from the survey:
- Nearly all small businesses (96%) surveyed use wireless technologies in their operations, with almost two-thirds (63%) indicating that they could not survive — or it would be a major challenge to survive — without wireless technologies.
- Despite tablets being a relatively new technology, two-thirds (67%) of small businesses surveyed indicate that they use tablet computers, up from 57% a year ago.
- 85% of small businesses report using smartphones for their operations, up from 80% last year and more than double the usage of five years ago (42%).
- One-third of smartphones used by small businesses are 4G.
- Half (50%) of the businesses surveyed that use mobile apps say they could not survive — or it would be a major challenge to survive — without them.
- Almost one-third (30%) of small businesses surveyed use mobile apps for their business, primarily to save time, increase productivity and reduce costs.
- Among the small businesses surveyed, GPS navigation and mapping are by far the most popular mobile apps (80%), followed by location-based services (44%) and social media marketing (42%).
- 50% of small businesses indicate that touch screen is the predominant type of keypad in their operation, followed by traditional QWERTY keypads at 21%.
- 21% indicate that their businesses use both touch and QWERTY smartphone keypads.
For more information on how SMBs are using mobile technology, check out the 2012 AT&T Small Business Technology Poll.