Communications Articles

SMBs Are Going Mobile to Fuel Growth

by Christophe Primault
Published on 21 December 2010

The SMB Group's latest report, 2010 Small and Medium Businesses Mobile Solutions Study reveals that a significant proportion of U.S. small and medium businesses (SMBs) are revving up plans to implement mobile web sites, transaction capabilities and business applications to help fuel growth and gain competitive advantage. However, the high cost of mobile service plans threaten to stall SMB adoption of smartphones and other devices that enable employees to take advantage of mobile business solutions, particularly in small businesses.

"The percentage of SMBs that currently use mobile business applications, such as mobile marketing, customer service management, social media marketing, time management and field service is still quite low. However, SMB plans to implement mobile business applications are strong-in some cases, plans to deploy are almost triple current use," according to Laurie McCabe, Partner, SMB Group.

But concerns about the high costs of data service plans could slow adoption of these solutions, especially in small businesses. For instance, 40% of very small businesses (1-19 employees) indicate that voice and data service costs are the top barrier to broadening mobile solution use by employees.

SMBs also have aggressive plans to deploy mobile web sites and enable transactions on these sites. Today, only about 12% of small businesses (1-99 employees) and 21% of medium businesses (100-999 employees) have mobile web sites, "but the growth opportunity is enormous, especially in verticals such as non-governmental organizations, education and retail, where more than 50% of SMBs plan to create a mobile web site in the next 12 months," said McCabe.

These results highlight just a few of the detailed findings in the SMB Group "2010 Small and Medium Businesses Mobile Solutions Study." Based on a survey of 744 U.S. respondents, the survey was fielded in November 2010 and provides a comprehensive view of SMB mobile solution adoption and plans, including:

Mobile Adoption Drivers and Inhibitors • Mobile Device and Service Provider Use and Plans • Use and Planned Use of Mobile Productivity Solutions • Use and Planned Use of Mobile Business Solutions • Use and Planned Use of Mobile Web Sites • Use and Planned Use of Mobile Website Capabilities • Use and Planned Use of Mobile Website Transactions • Top Security Related Challenges for Mobile Solutions • Mobile Procurement, Spending and User Roles

Study results are segmented into 1-4, 5-9, 10-19, 20-49, 50-99, 100-249, 250-499, 500-1000 employee segments and 18 vertical industries, as well as by age of business and phase of business. Survey respondents are key influencers and/or decision makers, including owners/CEOs, partners and office managers in small businesses; CIOs and departmental decision makers in medium businesses.

News Facts:

  • Top 3 business applications that medium businesses plan to deploy in the next 12 months are customer management, field service management and employee time management
  • 37% of small businesses say voice and data service costs are the top barrier to adopting mobile business solutions
  • Up to 43% of SMBs plan to create a mobile web site in the next 12 months
  • 43% of small businesses still use some type of a voice-text phone and have not upgraded to a smartphone becasue of high cost of data service plans

For information about this study, please contact: or call Sanjeev Aggarwal at (508)410-3562