Vast majority of Canadian businesses don’t budget for mobile devices
Sage North America announced today the results of its Sage Canadian SMB Survey on Mobile Devices, which recently polled 1,628 small and midsized businesses in Canada. The survey found that mobile technology is having a very positive impact on Canadian businesses, with 73 per cent of respondents reporting a positive effect on customer service. Business owners found mobile devices have also been helpful in performing business in the event of inclement weather (32 per cent). Furthermore, they responded that mobile devices have been helpful in bringing more business to the company (28 per cent) and by giving them the ability to conduct meetings remotely (29 per cent).
One of the most surprising findings is that while mobile is clearly having a positive effect on business processes, most Canadian businesses (78 per cent) are not budgeting for the cost of mobile devices, preferring to purchase mobile technology as the need arises. Less than 10 per cent of businesses surveyed set an annual budget for mobile devices and adjust expenditures as needed.
“Mobile technologies increase flexibility and improve agility for small and medium-sized businesses, making them more competitive. The Sage Canadian SMB Survey on Mobile Devices found that that while Canadian small and medium-sized businesses are seeing benefits of mobile technologies, they aren’t yet setting clear budgets for what can be a growing expense,” said Nancy Harris, Sage North America senior vice president and general manager, Canada. “With some of the most costly mobile plans in the world, Canadian businesses should set budgets for mobile technology and establish clear guidelines for mobile expenses and employee usage so they can leverage the benefits of mobile technology while keeping costs in check.”
The survey also found that Canadian businesses, more than their American counterparts, are covering the costs of employees’ mobile devices. Sixty-three per cent of Canadian businesses supply mobile devices to their employees, compared to 54 per cent of U.S. companies. However, the number of Canadian businesses supplying mobile devices to employees has dropped from 2013 when 71 percent of Canadian businesses reported supplying mobile devices to employees. The number of employees that supply their own mobile devices with no company reimbursement has increased to 36 per cent, up nearly 10 per cent from 2013.
Other notable findings include:
- Thirty-seven per cent of respondents have a “bring your own device” policy (BYOD) policy in place, while 39 per cent have not considered this option. Another 13 per cent have considered but decided against a BYOD strategy for their businesses, and six per cent are still considering a BYOD policy.
- Slightly more than half of survey respondents (53 per cent) personally use a mobile device to access work-related information remotely (when away from the office or their main computer).
- About two out of five respondents who use mobile applications are using a work-related application on their mobile device that connects to the cloud.
The survey was conducted by Sage between April 18 and May 4, 2014 among an independent panel of small and medium-sized businesses in Canada. The margin of error for the executive respondents is +/- 5% and among mobile device users +/- 4% with a confidence level of 95 percent.
Complete findings from the study are available at: http://na.sage.com/~/media/site/sagena/responsive/docs/CAmobility.pdf