Business Leaders Fear Being Out Of Step With Technology Says CNBC Research

Twitter embraced as a business and marketing tool
iPhone remains most popuular mobile device for European execs
75% use the iPad for work and leisure

LONDON, 13 September 2011 – New research by CNBC, the leading business and financial news channel, shows that nearly half of European business leaders fear being out of step with the rapid pace of technology change, and that it’s getting more difficult to keep up.

The findings are part of CNBC’s ‘Europe’s Mobile Elite 2011’ survey which polled a sample of European business leaders to better understand how they use technology and social media platforms in their work and social lives.

Forty-five percent of European business leaders are not confident they are keeping up with the rate of technology change in their respective industries, a slip in confidence of 15% from 2010.

The survey also showed that the use of Twitter as a business and marketing tool has seen a rapid increase amongst users, almost doubling in use to 61% up from 31% a year ago. The growing impact of social networking is reflected by 61% believing it has changed the way business is done, up from only a quarter in 2010.

The iPhone remains the most popular personal mobile device among Europe’s affluent consumers increasing average ownership from 19% to 21% year-on-year. Blackberry ownership is at 20%, up from 18% in 2010, whilst Android device ownership stands at 14%, up from just 8% last year.

The iPad is now owned by 15% of European decision makers and, more than any other device, the iPad crosses the work-life divide. 37% share the device with their partner and 49% claim that their children use it. 77% use it as a work and leisure device, up from just 43% in 2010.

Accessing news websites via a mobile device has fallen 10% since 2010 due to the proliferation of news mobile applications downloaded. News apps are by far the most popular (75%), followed by weather (54%) and social networking apps (39%). The results indicate that access to traditional news websites over mobile devices is likely to fall in favour of using apps.

Facebook continues to be the favoured network amongst social media users, although the number of senior executives with accounts has dropped off to 77% from 81% a year ago. LinkedIn has closed the gap on Facebook increasing in popularity to 56% up from 52%, whilst Twitter users have increased from 30% to 38% over the same period. 18% of execs are connected to all three.

The growth in Twitter’s popularity and level of use is reflected by the average number of followers, increasing from 99 in 2010, to 167 in 2011 (+69%). The average number of LinkedIn connections increased from 88 to 145 (+65%), whilst the average number of Facebook friends increased marginally from 131 in 2010, to 140 in 2011.

Mike Jeanes, Director of Research at CNBC, EMEA said, “In a rapidly changing world, Europe’s decision makers are challenged with not just keeping up with technology change, but also ‘driving change’ within their respective sectors. Throughout 2010, Europe experienced some the most advanced innovations in mobile technology the region has ever seen.

“Europe’s business elite is striving to keep up with advancements in technology, reflected with an uptake in mobile devices, apps, and use of social networks blurring the lines between work and home-life. They increasingly see the value of social media in business and are actively using these new technologies as an everyday business tool,” concluded Jeanes.

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