By Daniel Hunter

Mobile app adoption is set to rocket over the next few years and transform the way small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) operate, new research from software and services provider Sage UK has revealed.

The findings are announced in a week that has seen use of the company’s apps soar by two thirds (64%) compared with last week, as business owners turn to mobile devices to minimise the disruption caused by the big freeze.

The Sage Omnibus survey of over 1,000 business owners revealed that 1 in 5 (19%) currently use apps to help run their business on the move, and that figure is expected to double in 2013 as more people anticipate adopting business apps and devices to run them on.

The research also identified the most popular use of business apps today to be checking the company’s finances (55%), reviewing the state of customer invoices (28%) and updating social media (27%).

The increased availability of superfast broadband and 4G networks means that people are no longer tied to office computers in order to access critical business data — a trend reinforced by this week’s winter weather. The Sage Omnibus survey found that half of respondents are regularly using apps to run their business from home in the kitchen (49%), a third from bed (36%) and one in ten (9%) from the barbers/ hairdressers.

Year-on-year Sage has seen a 170% uplift in users of its mobile apps this January compared to last. This week alone has re-iterated the value of mobile apps to businesses with 42% more users logging on yesterday when the snow hit as compared to [Tuesday] last week.

To help businesses take advantage of the app phenomenon, Sage has recently unveiled one of the UK’s first business apps designed specifically for Windows 8 desktop and portable devices — Sage 50 Accounts Pulse.

Sage’s pioneering app has been designed to deliver top-line financial information to Owner Managers and company Directors, who don’t necessarily have accounts experience or software expertise but who need to monitor customers, suppliers, cash flow and profit and loss.

“At Sage, we are focused on giving our customers the freedom, confidence and control they need to achieve their business ambitions,” explained Lee Perkins, Managing Director of Sage UK’s Small Business Division. “Our research reinforces the fact that remote working is no longer the domain for sales teams or the privileged few, it is critical to the everyday running of most firms and the recent cold snap underlined that fact."

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