Majority of global executives use mobile news services


CEOs and business executives say they are now “extremely concerned” about issues of cybersecurity

With ownership of mobile devices reaching saturation point, it is now easier than ever to have news at your fingertips, and new research published by CNBC International today finds that the vast majority of global executives have access to news and business content via their smartphone or tablet.

Mobile Elite, an annual CNBC survey tracking senior business executive’s use of mobile devices across Europe, Asia and the US, has found that 91% of executives utilise news and business content via their mobile devices. The study finds that the variety and volume of news and business content consumed on mobile devices has increased across the board between 2014 and 2015, with access to news feeds registering the highest growth for smartphones (45% in 2014 to 60% in 2015).

Weekday mornings are the most popular time for 87% of executives to access news content, with 71% preferring financial news and stock prices. Mobile has become such an intrinsic part of daily life that six in ten business leaders now reach for their smartphone as soon as they wake up.

In contrast, over six in ten consume news and business content over the weekend, when the luxury of spare time allows them to consume in-depth content. This means that three quarters of today’s c-suite are experiencing a blurring of the boundaries between the working week and the weekend due to their reliance on mobile.

While TV is still considered the main platform for accessing business news for just over half of global executives, the two are synonymous, with second screening playing a harmonious role. Altogether, 75% watch TV at the same time as using a mobile device and a growing proportion of business leaders (56% in 2014 to 62% in 2015) have followed up on their smartphone or tablet as a result of seeing content on TV.

Although smartphone hardware and software innovation appears to have slowed in 2015, the influence of mobile technology has increased both at the office and at home with almost four in ten global executives claiming to use their mobile device to operate appliances within the home. Furthermore, business leaders are becoming  not only ‘early adopters’ but also ‘early drivers’ of technology advancements fuelled by mobile devices and wearables in particular; 54% liked the idea of hands free technology, a trend set to spread far beyond connected audio visuals, smart thermostats and smart security systems.

Mike Jeanes, director of research, EMEA at CNBC said: “With mobile saturation at an all-time high, we’re now seeing business executives shifting their attentions towards a more connected lifestyle. With a slowdown in hardware innovation in 2015, the survey suggests that global executives are unlocking the potential of their technology to be more connected, more of the time. We could be witnessing the start of the next mobile renaissance.”

The influence of mobile technology has and will continue to explode in to sectors such as fashion, health and fitness, and travel, but one area that is looking increasingly important is retail and payment systems, the research shows. CNBC found business executives are on the lookout for alternative ways to pay quickly and efficiently, and almost three quarters of those surveyed (74%) agree that systems including Apple Pay and other digital wallet offerings are the future for e-commerce.

With cybersecurity front of mind in the wake of highly publicised cyber hacks such as Sony, and more recently Talk Talk, CEOs and business executives are now “extremely concerned” about issues of cyber security. Altogether, 82% of business leaders agree that mobile data privacy and security is a concern, with 41% believing that it is the most important technological influencer for 2016, followed by cloud technology (35%) and mobile e-commerce (34%).


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