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Managers who spend a lot of time out of the office are ready and willing to access business applications through an Internet or wireless connection. In a survey of more than 1,200 midlevel and higher managers, many in IT purchasing positions, research firm Cahners In-Stat found that when working remotely, 70% of the respondents accessed E-mail more than any other business application.
In midsize and large businesses, word processing and spreadsheet applications were second to E-mail. Running a distant second among small companies were industry-specific or supply-chain-related software. The survey seems to show that companies would not face serious hurdles in getting people to access more applications remotely, says Kneko Burney, analyst and author of the study. "Before you can even talk about return on investment from technology, you have to look at whether people will use it."
The study also found that 55% of the corporate workforce surveyed would work from outside the office, either at home or on the road, sometime during the year. Managers in large and midsize markets were more likely to have remote access to business applications, at 77% and 71%, respectively. For small companies, the number dipped to 69%.