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Report: UK businesses need to invest more in mobile

Nearly two-thirds of employees in mid-market businesses in the UK feel that more investment in mobile technology is required in order to boost productivity.

Research by Source for Consulting, in co-operation with Advanced Business Solutions, found that this was the key response to a survey of staff from 160 UK organisations.

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The findings, which have been published in a new white paper, Don't forget the back office: exploiting social and mobile to make mid-size organisations more productive, suggest that employee demand to use smartphone and tablet devices is only being partially met.

Currently, only seven per cent of finance staff can access customer and supplier data through mobile devices, with only nine per cent able to retrieve key business performance data. Similarly, just one in five HR employees can access their core systems via their smartphones.

With mobile devices becoming an increasingly important aspect of employees' work life, the need for mobile-friendly applications has never been greater.

Simon Fowler, managing director at Advanced Business Solutions, believes that too many businesses are failing to keep up with staff 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," he said.

Field-based staff, in particular, require mobile solutions in order to access customer information, financial documents and HR processes from any location.

56 per cent of respondents said that they would like to submit holiday requests through their smartphones, but only 23 per cent are currently able to do so. Staff would also prefer to approve expenses and report absences on the move.

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A number of work-based applications are available to employers looking to invest in mobile technology. Advanced Business Solutions provides platforms such as OpenMobile Expenses and MobileHR to keep staff connected even when out of the office.