SMB Workforce Goes Mobile, Creates Opportunities

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<strong>Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. &mdash; Oct. 18</strong><br />The workforce of small and midsized businesses (SMBs) is becoming more mobile, and that trend is shaping technology spending plans for companies with 500 or fewer employees, research from the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) reveals.<br /><br />Nearly three out of four SMBs have at least one or more employees telecommuting and, on average, has 7 percent of its workforce working from home one or more days per week. <br /><br />In addition, 90 percent of SMBs reported having one or more employees traveling on business at least one day per week. On average, 10 percent of the SMB workforce is mobile.<br /><br />&ldquo;With a growing portion of their workforce either mobile or remote, SMBs need to provide cost-effective, safe and secure remote access for these employees,&rdquo; said John Venator, president and chief executive officer. &ldquo;This suggests there is a sizeable market opportunity associated with productivity-enhancing solutions such as virtual private networks (VPNs), smart phones and other applications.&rdquo;<br /><br />In fact, 44 percent of the 518 North American SMBs surveyed said they plan to invest in smart phones, and 32 percent plan to invest in VPNs in the next 12 months.<br /><br />The majority of SMBs surveyed rated VPNs and mobile e-mail through use of smart phones as offering high business value and benefits. <br /><br />Ease of scalability and increased security are among the chief perceived benefits of deploying VPNs, along with seamless end-to-end connectivity between all employees.<br /><br />More than four out of five SMBs said they are either &ldquo;very satisfied&rdquo; or &ldquo;somewhat satisfied&rdquo; with their current IT and communications systems in terms of boosting efficiency in managing day-to-day affairs. <br /><br />At the same time, 70 percent said that deploying the latest convergent technologies that allow for more effective means of internal and external communication has high strategic importance.

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