When it comes to the use of wireless technologies for small businesses, it's unanimous ... well almost. According to the just-released 2013 AT&T Small Business Technology Poll, which surveyed 1,000 small businesses nationwide, 98% of small businesses use some form of wireless technologies in their operations.
On the device front, the poll revealed that more than half (56%) of smartphones used by small business employees for business purposes are 4G, a 70% jump in usage from last year when only 33% used 4G smartphones. Nine in 10 (90%) of the businesses using 4G smartphones are satisfied with the speed.
Further, two-thirds (66%) of small businesses polled indicate that they could not survive – or it would be a major challenge to survive – without wireless technologies.
And while penetration of specific wireless technologies varies across small businesses, it's clear that small businesses nationwide are open to adopting the latest devices and solutions, including tablets and mobile apps.
"For small businesses today, wireless solutions have become part of their DNA," said Cathy Martine, AT&T Executive Vice President of Small Business Solutions. "With the ongoing growth of remote workforces and with virtual offices gaining in popularity, mobility solutions from AT&T are becoming more important than ever in helping small businesses work better, smarter, and faster."
In fact, more than four in ten (41%) small businesses report that all their employees use wireless devices or wireless technologies to work away from the office. Additional findings from the national survey of small businesses include:
More than two-thirds (69%) of small businesses surveyed indicate that they use tablet computers. Results indicate that the larger the business, the more likely they are to use tablets, with 90% of those with 51 to 99 employees using them, compared to 69% of those with 50 or fewer employees. Additionally, newer businesses are more likely to use tablets, with 80% that are less than 2 years old using them, compared to 69% of those two years and older. 85% of small businesses reported using smartphones for their operations, more than double the usage five years ago (42%).
Nearly one-third (31%) of small businesses surveyed use mobile apps, with top three reasons being to save time, increase productivity and reduce costs. Slightly less than half (47%) of small businesses using mobile apps say they could not survive – or it would be a major challenge to survive – without them. Of small businesses using mobile apps, GPS navigation and mapping are by far the most popular with 74% of business owners using them, followed by location-based services (43%); document management (35%); social media marketing (32%); and mobile payments in the field (30%).