AT&T Survey Says SMB's Love Mobile Apps

AT&T survey shows Mobile Apps integral to small business operations, remote workers on the rise, Facebook use growing rapidly

March 15, 2011

3 Min Read

DALLAS -- Small businesses are increasingly reliant on mobile applications, Facebook pages for their companies, and employees working remotely via wireless technologies, according to the AT&T* Small Business Technology Poll. More specifically, the national survey of small businesses with two to 50 employees revealed that:

  • Nearly three-fourths (72%) indicate they use mobile apps in their business, with roughly four in ten (38%) reporting they could not survive "or it would be a major challenge to survive" without mobile apps

  • 41% of small businesses surveyed have a Facebook page for their business, representing a 52% jump from last year

  • Four in ten (40%) small businesses report all their employees use wireless devices or wireless technologies to work away from the office, a 66% jump over the past two years.

  • One-third (33%) of small businesses indicate they are using cloud-based or software as a service solutions, while another one-third acknowledged they do not know what is meant by these technologiesMobile Applications: Mobile applications are becoming crucial for small businesses, with nearly four in 10 (38%) businesses surveyed said they could not survive - or it would be a major challenge to survive - without mobile apps. With nearly three-fourths (72%) of small businesses surveyed indicating they use mobile apps for their business, the driving force behind this widespread adoption is time savings, increased productivity and reduction of costs. Moreover, GPS/navigation and mapping mobile apps are by far the most popular, with nearly half (49%) reporting they use them for their small business.

    Remote Workers: Four in ten (40%) of small businesses report that all their employees use wireless devices or wireless technologies to work away from the office. This is up from an estimated 24% in 2008 and is expected to grow to 50% by 2012.

    Cloud-based and Software as a Service: The AT&T survey also found that one-third (33%) of small businesses indicated that they are using cloud-based or software as a service solutions, a solid adoption rate despite the nascent nature of these services. But cloud solutions are not nearly as critical to small businesses just yet as other technologies, with less than one in five (17%) saying they could not survive - or it would be a major challenge to survive - without these technologies. Moreover, despite recent headlines and media campaigns, nearly one-third (32%) of small businesses surveyed acknowledged they do not know what is meant by cloud-based or software as a service solutions.

    Facebook: Considering there are more than 500 million active Facebook users, this year's survey found a significant increase in small businesses that have adopted this social media channel as a business tool, with 41% reporting they have a Facebook page for their business. Usage is up from 27% in 2010, representing at 52% jump in just one year. Additionally, of all businesses reporting that they utilize social media, 41% responded that they've seen measurable success - in terms of better communications and relationships with new and/or existing customers - with these channels.

    Wireless Technologies: Ninety-six percent (96%) of small businesses use wireless. In fact, nearly two-thirds (64%) of small businesses surveyed said they could not survive - or it would be a major challenge to survive - without wireless technology.

    "From mobile apps and smartphones to Wi-Fi hotspots and cloud-based services, AT&T enables small businesses to be more productive, efficient and successful on their terms," said Lori Lee, AT&T senior vice president of Small Business Marketing. "We expect adoption of these technologies to continue to increase in coming years, especially surrounding mobile apps and cloud services, so we'll remain focused on providing innovative solutions on these fronts going forward."

    AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)

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