Smartphones penetrate corporate South Africa

Arthur Goldstruck, ICT analyst and MD World Wide Worx

A recent study released today by World Wide Worx reveals that 75% of South African companies have already deployed smartphones within their organizations, compared to almost none 2 years ago.

The Mobile Corporation in SA 2010 report shows an increase in smartphone usage in corporate South Africa, beyond general consumer use.

“These results show that enterprise mobility solutions are no longer just nice to have. They’re essential for businesses that want to be competitive, responsive and efficient. Smartphones are now mainstream devices within South African businesses, but the smartphone revolution has only just begun. Enterprises should now be looking at what smartphones mean for their businesses in a more strategic and holistic fashion”, said Deon Liebenberg, Regional Director for Sub Sahara Africa at Research in Motion (RIM).

“Not only does mobility allow companies to improve internal efficiencies and communications, it also enables them to interact more effectively with their increasingly mobile customers, he added.

The report also shows that 96% of large South African companies make use of landlines, 92% rely on cellphones, and 3G data card penetration has reached 94% of companies. With these markets almost saturated, organizations are turning to smartphones for business processes integration.

Moreover, online services are catching up faster than expected in South Africa, with 84% of corporations willing to implement Software as a Service (SaaS) in the next 2 years and 60% declaring their interest in a Cloud Computing Strategy.

“Until last year, concepts like Software as a Service (SaaS) and Cloud Computing were regarded as little more than buzzwords”, commented Arthur Goldstuck, MD of World Wide Worx.

According to Goldstruck, companies are keen on using new storage systems, software deployments and network upgrades with focus on cost-effectiveness, flexibility and mobility.

Among the technologies most likely to gain momentum in South Africa in the next years are fixed-mobile convergence, virtualization, outsourced storage and archiving systems.

The Mobile Corporation in SA 2010 study reported that 72% of SA companies are likely to adopt connectivity systems between fixed and mobile networks, 65% are likely to adopt Virtualization, while 50% of large SA corporates will use outsourced services for storage and archiving within 2 years.

The report forms part of the Mobility 2009 project, which included research among 1 000 small and medium enterprises, 240 large enterprises and 1.000 consumers from South Africa.