New research reveals widespread enthusiasm for extended smartphone use in UK mid-market businesses.
Almost two-thirds (62 percent) of employees in mid-market businesses in the UK want to see greater investment in mobile technology to access back office systems in order to boost their productivity. This is the key finding of research carried out by Source for Consulting in partnership with leading software provider, Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced). The research findings have been published in a new white paper – Don’t forget the back office: exploiting social and mobile to make mid-sized organisations more productive.
The report is based on a survey of staff from 160 mid-market UK organisations in July 2014, carried out to gauge interest in using mobile technologies to access and manage information held on CRM, HR, finance and other business critical systems. The survey reveals that employee demand to use smartphone and tablet devices in a professional capacity is only partially being met. Only seven percent of finance staff can access customer and supplier data via mobile devices and just nine percent can retrieve key business performance data and metrics. Only one in five HR personnel can access their organisation’s core HR systems via their smartphones.
Fifty six percent of respondents stated they would like to submit holiday requests via their smartphones whereas only twenty three percent are able to do so. Fifty percent admitted they would like to be able to report absences using a mobile device but this is currently an option for just 21 percent of those surveyed. Approving expenses while on the move is a preferred option for forty four percent of respondents. Simon Fowler, Managing Director, Advanced Business Solutions (Commercial division) comments: “Our research reveals that staff are keen to extend their use of mobile technology but many mid-market employers are not keeping up with their demands.
“We believe the impact of mobile technologies on the back office is only set to increase, with the current application of these technologies by HR, Finance and IT only scratching the surface of what is possible.” Mobile devices are increasingly being used by field-based staff to access customer information held within CRM systems and by finance managers to view and approve financial documents such as invoices and purchase orders remotely. HR and payroll processes can also be managed quickly and easily from any location to enable faster response times and minimise downtime.
Advanced provides a number of mobile solutions, such as OpenMobile Expenses which is integrated with its OpenAccounts finance system and which won the Progress Best Mobile App award. Users are able to submit expense information, including photographs of receipts to evidence their expense claims via their smartphones, which are then are imported into the finance system for approval. This eliminates the need for manual data input and paper based record keeping, contributing to increased efficiencies. The company also provides applications such as MobileHR that provide smartphone access to its HR and finance systems. Advanced Business Solutions is a division of Advanced Computer Software Group plc, a leading supplier of software and IT services to the health, care and business services sectors.