Smartphone device ownership, usage on the rise, survey finds


More Canadians are using smartphones, and with greater fervor, according to a recent survey conducted by Google.


Of the 1,000 Canadians polled, 56 percent use a smartphone, which is up from 33 percent last year. Furthermore, Digital Journal reported that 80 percent of those using this kind of mobile device never leave home without it, and 35 percent said they would rather give up their television than their smartphone.


“Mobile has become a core part of how people live their lives today,” said Eric Morris, Google Canada’s head of mobile advertising. “The study shows people are using mobile to change all aspects of their life, whether it’s their job, travel, shopping, the way they communicate with others, and specifically trying to understand the world around them.”


In addition, the Google survey discovered that Canadians are turning to their smartphones more frequently for communicative purposes. The news source reported that 78 percent of smartphone owners utilize their mobile device to access social media, and 52 percent do so daily. Furthermore, approximately three-quarters of Canadians with a smartphone use the device to watch video, and 20 percent view this kind of content via their mobile device every day.


These findings correspond to earlier figures compiled by CBC News last year, which show that more than 31 percent of Canadian smartphone users turn to their device to access sites like Facebook and Twitter. The source additionally found that multimedia applications for photography and other similar purposes are growing in popularity as well.


“Growing numbers of Canadians have embraced the high-tech devices that allow users to make calls, send texts, use apps and go online,” CBC reported


How smartphone usage trends affect Canadian enterprises
Although both the Google survey and the CBC stats reflect consumer-facing trends, the rise of bring your own device and enterprise mobility means that these numbers likely represent how end users of today and tomorrow will complete mission-critical tasks.


In particular, the Google survey results provide especially good news for businesses that have or are considering deploying a cloud-based unified communication and collaboration as a service (UCCaaS) solution. While a number of factors can make or break a particular UCCaaS deployment, Bill Haskins, senior analyst with Wainhouse Research, noted in March that user habits can inhibit the effectiveness of a given UCCaaS system.


If employees have no previous experience using a cloud-hosted UCCaaS offering optimized for mobile, then many will likely be reticent to abandon old workflows and adopt the new solution. Should this be the case, then the company will realize a low return on investment from its collaborative cloud computing solution. However, the Google survey showed that more Canadian end users are in their free time using the features commonly found within UCCaaS systems. As such, end users will be even more likely to utilize and benefit from such solutions.


Companies interested in deploying a cloud-hosted UCCaaS solution that can boost the efficacy of employee-owned smartphones should partner with FlexITy, one of Canada’s largest and most trusted managed IT services providers. In particular, FlexITy’s FlexTEL enterprise-class solutions align business goals such as increased mobility and collaboration with best-in-breed technology to ensure that the implemented UCCaaS system facilitates growth now and years down the line.