A new survey of small-and-midsize business executives reveals that mobile services are growing in importance, surpassing applications for the first time.
That's one finding in Cbeyond's "Summer 2013 Cbeyond Business Leader Snapshot," a blind survey of more than 700 executives who run businesses with between one and 250 employees. The survey aims to provide insight into the most important business and technology issues facing small and midsize businesses.
Forty-two percent of respondents said operating their business without mobile services would be a major challenge, while 34 percent said their businesses could not survive without mobile services. Seventy-nine percent consider the ability to work remotely when on vacation important, while 89 percent consider working remotely on a regular basis as important.
While most business leaders have taken steps to ensure the security of their business computers and information, just under one-third (32 percent) are unsure or do not believe their information is adequately protected. More than one-fifth of respondents (22 percent) stated they have developed a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy to address data access through personal devices such as tablets and smartphones among others.
Almost half (47 percent) of business leaders surveyed consider social media critical to their growth, with social mobile (Foursquare, Scoutmob, Spotify, Googlemaps, etc.) registering at 22 percent.
Other findings show technology spending remains strong for SMB leaders. Nearly five times as many (59 percent) expect an increase in technology spending in 2013 compared to those expecting a decrease (13 percent). Small business leaders also expect technology to play a major role in their businesses in 2013. The specific technologies business leaders said would be very or somewhat important to them in the coming year includes, in order of priority: network access; mobile services; desktop/laptop management; applications; enterprise-grade voice and broadband services; and cloud services.
Serving customers (65 percent) and data security (66 percent) ranked as equally important to business leaders, underscoring the need for a reliable, high bandwidth connection and secure data storage, Cbeyond said. SMB leaders' most critical cloud services are online backup, company email and file sharing.
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