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As more workers become mobile-enabled, the mobile software-as-a-service (SaaS) market is evolving, with more small to medium-size business employees using smartphones with data plans–and other wireless devices–to further improve productivity and worker mobility, according to Strategy Analytics Wireless Enterprise Strategies’ latest report, "Why Mobile SMBs Are Opening Doors to Software-as-a-Service to Increase Productivity and Efficiency."

According to Gina Luk, a senior analyst of wireless enterprise strategies and author of the report, the SMB market for mobile SaaS is already expected to reach $3 billion in 2011 and increase to $16.6 billion in 2016, sustaining a 29.5 percent compound annual growth (CAGR) over five years. On a regional basis, North America and Western Europe represent the greatest near-term SMB spending opportunities for mobile SaaS, Luk said.

In addition, the report noted SMBs in North America spend twice as much on mobile SaaS as those in Western Europe. Strategy Analytics researchers said smartphones and wireless devices form the basis of mobility and pave the way for mobile applications such as access to company email, calendars, CRM systems and databases, and smartphones are becoming an increasingly vital part of the SMB communications infrastructure. As more applications are developed that were traditionally accessible only via laptop computer (such as access to customer resource management systems) and as SMBs continue to form mobility strategies, they will look for ways to leverage the SaaS gains that mobility provides, Luk said.

"Mobility services continue to be a viable segment for mobile operators to grow their subscriber base and revenue. Growth derives from the proliferation of personal-liable devices in business,” said Andrew Brown, director of wireless enterprise strategies at Strategy Analytics. “Operators are trying to capture subscribers through corporate/employee discount programs as employers continue to support and adopt mobility, both as a means to improve employee work-life balance and a way to drive company revenues and profitability."

To read the original eWeek article, click here: SaaS Gaining Traction Among SMBs: Report