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Businesses embrace smartphones and wireless broadband as economic downturn drives productivity push
17 Apr 2009

Australian businesses are expected to increase their reliance on smartphones and wireless broadband over the next two years, as a means to improve productivity during the economic downturn, according to research conducted by Optus Business.

The research, conducted by Jones Donald Strategy Partners on behalf of Optus, revealed that over the next two years, 73 per cent of companies surveyed intend to increase the number of smartphones used in their organisation, almost double (38 per cent) the number who plan to increase their use of non-email mobile devices.

Meanwhile 67 per cent of respondents plan to increase the number of wireless datacards used in their organisation, providing staff with broadband access on the go.

While companies invest in mobile technologies for a number of reasons, improving employee effectiveness and productivity (97 per cent) is the primary driver, followed by internal communications and information sharing (92 per cent) and improved efficiencies in work processes and operations (85 per cent).

Scott Mason, Acting Marketing Director, Optus Business said, "As the economic slowdown takes its toll on corporate Australia, organisations are looking to mobile devices, in particular smartphones, to boost productivity. We also expect to see a sharp increase in the adoption of enterprise specific applications on mobile devices, making it easier for staff to access corporate networks and systems away from their desk."

From an applications perspective, the most popular applications accessed on smartphones today are mobile email (87 per cent), web browsing (80 per cent) and instant messaging/SMS (74 per cent). Among the other applications being accessed by corporate Australia are location-based services (29 per cent), enterprise resource planning (24 per cent), and mobile CRM (17 per cent).

Over the next 24 months, 79 per cent of companies intend to increase their use of mobile email, while mobile CRM (34 per cent) and enterprise resource planning (32 per cent) applications look set to take off.

Mr Mason said, "With the availability of an increasingly large number of applications on 3G smartphones, 2009 looks set to be the year when enterprise applications become truly mobile, providing workers with access to their corporate applications on the go.

"In the current economic climate, increased productivity and greater collaboration between the best and brightest people in your organisation is high on every company's agenda. This research demonstrates that organisations are still willing to invest in technologies providing they promote productivity," Mr Mason said.

Media contact:
Liz Greene
Optus Corporate Affairs
Tel: (02) 8082 1132