Hand typing on a digital tablet with mobile phone

Mobile technology is changing the way we do business, and most Canadian business owners report being pretty happy about that. A new survey by Sage North America discovered 83% of owners believe mobile technology has had a positive effect on their business and only 1% felt the technology has had a negative impact. More than three-quarters (78%) say their employees are using mobile technology to access information related to work.

The study also reports business owners believe the use of devices for remote access has increased significantly over the past year. Laptop use is perceived to be up by 48%, tablet use by 64% and smartphone use by 78%.

“Mobile devices have become so pervasive that many of us feel like these devices are an extension of ourselves,” says Nancy Harris, senior vice president and general manager of Sage 50 Accounting, Canadian Edition. “So it makes sense that the majority of business owners Sage surveyed in Canada are incorporating mobile devices to increase productivity.”

About 40% of the businesses using mobile devices outside the office have one to two employees using tablets or smartphones. More than half (55%) have one to two employees using laptops and 40% have one to two employees using desktops.

The survey also found that, of the mobile devices used by employees to gain remote access, 71% are supplied by the company and 28% by the employee. For 18% of mobile technology used for work, employees supply the smartphones and tablets, and business owners pay for the service.

“By capitalizing on the growing trend of work being conducted on smartphones and tablets, businesses can not only increase productivity, but also give their employees the flexibility of being able to conduct work whenever and wherever they are,” says Harris. “This ability to work remotely not only helps add to the bottom line, but may also be seen as a benefit to prospective employees.”

The report notes business decision-makers may be wise to establish a bring your own device (BYOD) policy in order to protect their company’s proprietary data while still allowing workers to use their personal devices remotely. Nearly half (45%) of companies polled have established a BYOD policy in the office, but more than a third (35%) have not considered this option. Another 9% have considered the idea but decided against it.

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