Small businesses have finally cut the cord and are going mobile with the use of emerging wireless solutions such as tablet computers, 4G devices and GPS navigation mobile devices, a new national survey shows. Nearly all of the more than 2,500 small businesses (96 percent) surveyed in an AT&T poll said they use wireless technologies in their operations, with almost two-thirds (63 percent) saying that they could not survive—or it would be a major challenge to survive—without wireless technologies.
More than four in ten (43 percent) small businesses reported that all their employees use wireless devices or technologies to work away from the office, a nearly 80 percent jump from three years ago. And in spite of being a relatively new technology, tablet computers are now being used by two-thirds (67 percent) of small businesses surveyed, up from 57 percent a year ago.
By the end of the year, about 50 percent of small businesses reported that they expect to have all their employees using wireless technologies to work away from the office.
Almost all (85 percent) of small businesses reported using smartphones for their operations, more than double the usage of five years ago. Nearly one-third of smartphones used by small businesses are 4G.
Almost a third (30 percent) of small businesses surveyed reported that they use mobile apps for their business to save time, increase productivity and reduce costs. Those mobile apps are also becoming as mission critical as wireless technologies overall: half of the small businesses that use them say they could not survive—or it would be a major challenge to survive—without mobile apps, a 31 percent jump over last year.