Many businesses have had substantial growth in their mobile workforce, which has proliferated the use of mobile devices. AMI has found that worldwide there are many mobile workers among small and medium businesses (SMBs). Our data shows that 49% of businesses with less than 10 employees have mobile workers and it increases to 66% in the 10-99 employee segment of SMBs. Furthermore, 81% of businesses with 100+ employees have a mobile workforce. In fact, AMI research shows that many SMBs are truly embracing mobility for their business.
The growth in mobility offers users constant connection to technology through a diverse array of devices and applications. The growing usage of mobile technology has driven some of the unique innovations in the mobility marketplace. New developments in devices and apps have opened up many opportunities for businesses. Mobility is particularly helpful in allowing SMBs to conduct business 24/7 while expanding their reach to clients. Furthermore, the use of tablets among the mobile workforce enables businesses to increase their productivity when they are on-the-go.
The following SWOT analysis highlights the mobile device market for SMBs from an SMB perspective.
The heightened usage of mobile devices has driven the development of products. There are multitude of tablet brands out there in the market and innovation continues to grow. Some examples include: Apple iPads, Google recently debuted their Nexus, and Microsoft has the Surface that is going to be launched in the near future. Also, there are tablets that run on Google’s Android opperating system such as Samsung, Asus, and Sony with a few other manufacturers developing tablets for the soon to be released Windows 8 OS as well. These are just a few examples and each offer varying features for their users. The features include size, battery life, and operating systems to name a few. However, I think it clearly illustrates the competition between brands in the tablet market. In addition to the hardware, there are over hundreds of thousands of applications available for mobile devices (Android: over 600,000 and iTunes: over 500,000 apps). The number of applications will continue to grow and will be developed or customized to meet the demands of businesses everywhere.
Overall, I think it will be interesting to see what will happen in the tablet market once Microsoft enters with its Windows 8 OS, as well as its Surface tablet. I think Microsoft’s entry will be a game changer for the moble SMB market. In particular, I think the collaboration features and integration of Microsoft’s Office365, will appeal to businesses. Lastly, mobility will continue to develop and innovate to further our connection to the digital world, as well as expand how SMBs do work.
Do you have any thoughts on mobility for SMBs? Any predictions on what the future holds for the mobile marketplace?
- Kimberly Chau, Marketing Associate