Telstra research claims mobile data tech set to surge

Australian businesses are ready to take on mobile data technology in the near future, according to a new survey from ACA Research.The survey, commissioned by Telstra, showed that about half of Australian businesses surveyed plan to progressively implement the technology in the coming years.

Australian businesses are ready to take on mobile data technology in the near future, according to a new survey from ACA Research.

The survey, commissioned by Telstra, showed that about half of Australian businesses surveyed plan to progressively implement the technology in the coming years.

ACA Research surveyed 100 IT and non-IT decision makers and found that the vast majority of those who indicated they were planning to implement wireless technology had allocated a budget, with 46 percent of all respondents having set aside funds for mobile solutions this financial year.

Telstra managing director of mobile sales and solutions, Murray Bergin, said the research confirmed mobility solutions were an increasingly important part of business operations.

"The research showed that most businesses recognise the benefits of mobile technology for e-mail connectivity, and offered some encouraging evidence that a growing number are realising the advantages it provides for a wider range of data applications," Bergin said.

He added that the main reason organisations are considering mobile technology is to enable staff to have more time in the field. Others are also looking to mobile solutions to increase business productivity and deliver cost savings.

"The research highlighted that IT managers saw mobile solutions as playing a significant role in the day-to-day running of business, with roll out expected to take place across the board, from executives through to support personnel and technical staff," Bergin said.

Non-IT managers believed that mobile solutions were most applicable for staff at the highest levels, with most executive and management staff expected to have access to the technology.

Around 90 percent of the respondents saw the main application for mobile data technology as sending and receiving e-mail. Eighty-five saw the main percent saw the main application as accessing a corporate intranet and 79 percent for accessing the Internet. Around 80 percent of the respondents saw mobile solutions for operating office systems and databases.

While 95 percent of survey respondents believed mobile data technology would bring additional benefits to their business, 89 percent also had some concerns.

The key concerns raised amongst the non-IT managers surveyed were the costs of implementing mobile technology (52 percent) and mobile devices (36 percent), while 55 percent of IT managers were more concerned about data security.

"It appears the concerns are based on perceptions rather than reality as many existing users have achieved return on investment within a year," Bergin claimed.

The survey showed that concerns about set-up costs were balanced by an acceptance by 48 percent of respondents who said mobile technology would provide cost savings through more efficient work processes, and by 45 percent who expect improved customer service and satisfaction.

Bergin said they expect the figure of businesses interested in mobile data technology to increase following the launch of Telstra Mobile Broadband-1xEV-DO last week, with average data speeds of 300-600 kilobits per second and a maximum of 2.4Mbps.

Telstra launched the service last week that allows broadband access anywhere in the major cities and regional centres across Australia. Telstra announced it will initially target business customers who access the Internet on laptops, mobile phones and portable devices such as Blackberry.

Bergin said that aside from this, a range of initiatives were being undertaken to educate corporate Australia about the benefits of mobile technology.

"This week Telstra will launch a White Paper that explores the range of opportunities for business mobility solutions, and offers strategies for their implementation," Bergin said.

ACA Research is an international marketing research organisation which specialises in consumer and business to business market research.

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