Tech survey highlights opportunities for app developers

The latest SmartCompany Business Technology Survey suggests 65% of people use apps for business purposes, highlighting the growing market for app developers.


SmartCompany, the sister site of StartupSmart, conducted an online survey of 4,094 people about their attitudes towards technology both in and out of the workplace.


Of the people surveyed, 48.1% were business owners, 25% were business managers and the remainder were employees.


According to the survey, 65% of respondents say they use apps for business purposes including email management, note-taking, banking, travel management and social networking.


“With 57% of respondents spending between two and three hours on the phone each day, there is clear demand for content delivered via an app,” the report says.


“Australia’s love for apps suggests that there could be good opportunities for companies prepared to develop their own apps.”


For those companies that do decide to develop their own apps, the report urges them to think carefully about pricing because “while Australia might be a nation of app lovers, we are also a nation of app cheapskates”.


According to the survey, 44% of respondents said they spend $0 on apps every month, while 37.5% spend between $1-$5, highlighting consumers’ hesitancy to pay for apps.


“The message is clear – if you are going to build an app, make it free or very cheap,” the report says.


One of the more concerning findings of the survey was respondents’ lack of concern regarding the security of their mobile devices. Almost 60% say they are not concerned about it, while 42% admit to having some concerns.


The biggest concerns were around hacking and unauthorised access, loss of confidential data, loss or theft of the device, and viruses.


Four in five respondents said they used password protection, while just over 60% were using antivirus technology. One fifth of respondents said they were using anti-theft measures.


Meanwhile, just under 13% of respondents who said they were concerned about security admitted that they hadn’t taken any steps to improve the situation.


“The amount of time workers spend on mobile devices means companies must pay more attention to security issues,” the report warns.


“Staff should be instructed on safe computing and forced to take measures to prevent hacking, viruses and theft. The potential cost of a hacked or stolen device is just too big to ignore.”


In addition to their lack of concern regarding mobile device security, the survey also shows many business owners aren’t aware of how much they are spending on mobile bills.


While 38% say they are spending between $50-99 every month, and 27.4% spend between $100-199, results for download rates are mixed.


Over 21% say they download between 1-2GB but 18% don’t know and 6% don’t even have a data allowance, suggesting business owners may not know about new, cheaper deals for data that could potentially save them a lot of money.


“Companies need to get on the front foot to explain to staff the size of individual data allowances and potential costs when data limits are exceeded,” the report says.


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