The US economy is largely driven by small businesses. The businesses include home-based firms, growing corporations and sole proprietors. On Friday, June 21, the National Small Business Week was concluded. There were few notable outcomes of this gathering. It was noted that small businesses are taking advantage of the technology driven environment. They are utilizing capabilities of smartphones and tablets to thrive on the competitive forefront.
Mobility is emerging as a de facto for small businesses. According to the poll of AT&T based on small business technology, 66% of the small businesses could not sustain without wireless technologies. Though, some businesses continue to bank upon conventional tools and strategies, they won’t last for a long time. The mere inception of mobile technology in the yesteryear showed the glimpse of the impact technology can have on businesses. The Touchtone technology, which was introduced to the public in 1963, shortened the time to make the call and also enabled automated medium to serve customers.
The poll also emphasized on the growing dependency of businesses on mobile devices to do business. The touch-screen tornado is magnetizing businesses as real-time information, productivity and cost are the immediate benefits of mobility. Almost 85% of the small business owners have developed a sense of dependency on smartphones to carry out business operations.
On the other hand, tablets are becoming the preferred choice for enterprise level businesses. But the impact can also be witnessed on small businesses, which were prompt to adopt the form factor. According to reports from IDC, the existence of tablets in mid-sized and small businesses jumped to more than 100% in 2012. And the trend was largely driven by BYOD (Bring Your Own Device).
The Small Business Administration (SBA) reports that nearly 55% of jobs are because of small businesses. And they are increasingly mobile. Techaisle, an industry analyst firm that observe trends of SMBs, predicts by 2016, there will be more than 297 million mobile employees in SMBs worldwide. North America will account 30 million of the total number of workers.
Techaisle also emphasized that though, mobility has been around since decades, but the recent form of devices and robust technologies has revamped the communication landscape. In the US, SMBs have nearly 77% of the workforce using mobile to fulfill the expectation of their position. 14% of employees continuously depend on mobiles for telecommuting, and the amount is expected to grow. According to the CEO of Techaisle Anurag Agrawal, it took a decade for telecommuting to double, but only 3 years to double again.
Another notable increase has been observed in the past two years. 51% of the small businesses in the US used their free or fee-based solutions, which has increased to 75% with a possible jump to 100% in the near future.
In addition, it was also expected that the dependency of businesses on cloud applications would reach 10 by 2015. These are a lot of cloud applications. The number of users of cloud applications in small businesses would reach 12.4 million.
Mobile devices or cloud applications, which came first?
Did mobile devices came before the cloud applications or was it the other way around for small businesses? It is like a chicken and egg story, but the bottom line is both are equally dependent on each other. One would never exist without the other. The availability of mobile devices fostering anytime, anywhere work environment, is fueling the need for mobile applications.
It won’t be an understatement to say that small businesses are prompt to embrace new mobile devices as soon as they are available and will continue to do so. The past decade has observed a technological shift of SMBs from conventional tools to mobile devices. Moreover, the introduction of iPhone and iPad presented an entirely new set of possibilities that could be accomplished with mobile applications.
The transformation and adoption rate of mobile devices in small businesses was so quick that it made the IT companies incompetent in providing applications. Small businesses never felt the need to develop policies or legacy solutions so they could easily afford to make a shift. They began to demand applications with better security and support while running on the mobile device. This is where the IT industry gained momentum and started developing applications.
Thus, the above numbers and research justifies that the small businesses are thriving, flourishing and booming with the advent of smartphone and tablets. Businesses continuing to bank upon conventional tools may be reprimanded with the technology advancements, and the present scenario is embrace or leave.