HALF of all Australians may have a smartphone, but less than a third of businesses or organisations have crafted a website to suit this most popular form of browsing and searching.
Even fewer have created their own mobile apps, and many do not plan to do this for another three to five years.
New research has found that 72 per cent of organisations across the private sector and government are only deploying online and mobile applications to meet customer expectations, according to a report commissioned by telco provider Optus.
While 18 per cent of organisations already have mobile applications, up from 6 per cent a year ago, about 48 per cent are planning to develop one in the next three to five years.
”What we saw is a strong increase [in the number of apps] over the last 12 months … we did find that a lot of the three-to-five-year responses were somewhat conservative,” said Optus Business managing director John Paitaridis.
An Optus spokesman said a basic bespoke app cost between $30,000 and $50,000 to develop.
Telsyte research director Foad Fadaghi told BusinessDay that ”consumers have overtaken both businesses and their employers when it comes to smartphones and internet usage”.
Optimising websites for smartphones made a ”world of difference” for users and in coming years mobile should be most businesses’ ”primary internet strategy”.
”Consumers’ perceptions of business change depending on what kind of app they have, and therefore it is important for branding and the perception of the business,” he said, adding that the fastest-growing category for apps in the past 12 months was for shopping.
According to Vodafone’s general manager of strategy and business development, Thomas Roets, the number of internet searches conducted on smartphones is expected to overtake desk-top searches by 2013, but only about 20 per cent of businesses have optimised their websites for mobiles.
”More than half of people have smartphones. Everyone who goes onto a contract now, [they] buy a smartphone,” he said.