SMEs get productivity from mobile applications

SMEs recognising the need to be able to service their customers and win prospective business with mobile computing and telecoms

Small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are using smartphones equipped with mobile applications to increase business productivity according to research from YouGov, commissioned by BlackBerry manufacturer Research In Motion (RIM).   

The survey showed that as the business landscape evolves, SMEs are looking at new ways to differentiate their business by mobilising desk-based operations. SMEs are recognising the need to be able to service their customers and win prospective business regardless of being in the office or not. 

The research revealed that a quarter (25%) of SME decision makers are already using or are considering using their smartphone to access company systems such as accounting and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) databases.

Nearly half (46%) of SME decision makers think they can be more productive by using a smartphone, with 60% of young entrepreneurs claiming they save up to two hours productive time each day compared with 45% of older SME decision makers. These findings are claimed by RIM to resonate with previous independent research undertaken by Ipsos Reid that stated that a typical SME end-user converts 60 minutes of downtime into productive time per day.

Multitasking is a key trait of SMEs says YouGov who found that the top five most beneficial mobile applications cited were banking facilities, CRM tools or customer databases, conference calling, instant messaging and satellite navigation.

Not surprisingly there are age and gender differences revealed in the Survey. In the former case, 47% of 18 to 34 year olds are currently using or wanting to use mobile accounting and CRM applications compared with 22% of SME decision makers over 35. Younger users were more likely (26%) to utilise social networking on the move than those over 35 years (9%).  In terms of gender, over a third (37%) of male SME decision makers say that they use or would like to use satellite navigation on their smartphones, 8% more than their female counterparts.  

Commented Rory O’Neill director of solutions and alliances marketing at RIM, EMEA, “More and more SMEs are realising that mobile technology is not just about communications and email on the go – it can improve overall business efficiency. SMEs are increasingly mobile and the ability to access the information and tools they need, whenever and wherever they are, can result in tangible business benefits. Whatever markets a business operates in, there are applications that will help their business and make the most of their mobile investment”.

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