SMB Workforce Goes Mobile

The workforce of small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) is becoming more mobile and that trend is shaping technology spending plans for companies with 500 or fewer employees, research from the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) reveals.

Nearly three-out-of-four SMBs have at least one or more employees telecommuting; and, on average, has seven percent of its workforce working from home one or more days per week. In addition, 90% of SMBs reported having one or more employees traveling on business at least one day per week. On average, 10% of the SMB workforce is mobile.

“With a growing portion of their workforce either mobile or remote, SMBs need to provide cost effective, safe and secure remote access for these employees,” said John Venator, president and chief executive officer, CompTIA, in a statement. “This suggests there is a sizeable market opportunity associated with productivity-enhancing solutions such as virtual private networks (VPNs), smart phones and other applications.”

In fact, 44% of the 518 North American SMBs surveyed said they plan to invest in smart phones, and 32% plan to invest in VPNs in the next 12 months.

The majority of SMBs surveyed rated VPNs and mobile e-mail through use of smart phones as offering high business value and benefits. Ease of scalability and increased security are among the chief perceived benefits of deploying VPNs, along with end-to-end connectivity between all employees.

More than four-out-of-five SMBs said they are either “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” with their current IT and communications systems in terms of boosting efficiency in managing day-to-day affairs. At the same time, 70% said that deploying the latest convergent technologies that allow for more effective means of internal and external communication has high strategic importance.

CompTIA commissioned AMI-Partners, which specializes in IT, Internet, telecommunications and business services strategy, venture capital, and actionable market intelligence focusing on global SMB enterprises, to uncover convergence trends and opportunities within the SMB market in North America.

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