SMBs, don't overlook laptops in your BYOD plan

Interest in smartphones and tablets may be blurring the lines between personal and professional lives, but don't forget the importance of managing notebook computers.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

Many inches of digital and actual column ink are devoted to coverage of mobile technology and its impact on small and midsize businesses (SMBs), with much of the recent focus on the potential impact of smartphones and tablet computers. But a recent survey by Sage North America reminds us that notebook and laptop computers are still darn important. 

In fact, the Sage SMB Survey on Mobile Devices showed that smartphones were being used in remote access situations by 81 percent of the 490 companies surveyed, compared with an 80 percent response for laptops. Tablets were being used by 57 percent of the respondents, the survey shows.

As a result, almost half of the survey participants have a strategy in place for managing personal devices being used for professional purposes. Almost one-third of them, however, haven't thought about this option and 9 percent of them have decided to reject this sort of thing outright.

For context, about 55 percent of the surveyed companies have 1 to 10 employees; another 28 percent employed between 10 and 50.

As you might expect, processing email and scheduling are the most common sorts of work being handled remotely, but banking, accounting and access to enterprise resource planning software or customer relationship management systems also ranked relatively high on the survey.

For example, 50 percent of the SMBs were managing bank accounts or transactions, while roughly one-quarter were handling ERP or CRM tasks remotely.

Here's the breakdown of importance for specific applications, based on the number of respondents who are personally accessing them remotely (more than one response could be chosen):

  • Email (94 percent)
  • Contacts (72 percent)
  • Schedule (64 percent)
  • Text messaging (63 percent)
  • Documents (52 percent)
  • Banking (50 percent)
  • Social media (37 percent)
  • Sales (27 percent)
  • Accounting/ERP (23 percent)
  • File storage (22 percent)
Editorial standards