Mario Armstrong, Digital Lifestyle Expert, is Emmy Award winning, tech commentator for the TODAY show and CNN, and the host of a tech talk radio show on SiriusXM. An entrepreneur by nature, Mario made his passion his career by quitting his day job and founding Mario Armstrong Media. Follow Mario at @MarioArmstrong. AT&T has sponsored the following blog post.

AT&T recently shared with me the results of their latest small business tech poll, and it confirms a lot of what I’ve been saying for years on my blog, Small Biz Go Mobile. The small business world is especially keen on implementing any new tech that saves time and money, and increasingly that tech is smartphones and tablet computers that offer always-on connections to the Internet that work over 3G and 4G networks.

While I wasn’t surprised to hear some facts, like the one that 85% of small businesses are using smartphones (like the iPhone and Android phones) in their operations, key findings did surprise me and re-affirm some of what I’ve been saying. For instance, over half of the small businesses surveyed say they could not survive, or it would be a challenge to survive, without the mobile apps they’ve come to depend on. In one of my first articles for this blog, back in November, titled 3 Android Apps to Organize Your Digital Life, I laid out three simple-to-use but completely dependable apps that help you manage your ideas, files and travel plans.

While mobile apps are an important part of the smartphone ecosystem, access to data of any kind is crucial to a smooth running operation. One of my key points when I discussed why your organization will love the new iPad is that its 4G LTE data will ensure that you’re able to access the documents, emails and apps you need at blazing fast speeds.

With one out of every three smartphones in use by small business now carrying some kind of 4G data access, I’m not surprised that nearly 9 out of 10 business users are happy with their speed. Faster data means less time wasted waiting, and that only lends more credibility to my argument that mobile means productive.

One last piece of data that I found interesting, and this is especially worth noting for those worried about ditching the keyboard and moving into the future of apps and mobility on the two top smartphone platforms (i.e. Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android platform). Today, 50% of small businesses are using touchscreen phones.

The fear that touchscreens are harder to type on and difficult to learn is quickly evaporating, and today you can comfortably join the millions already typing with touch knowing that you have support, that other small businesses are moving in the same direction, and that your organization has nothing to fear issuing the latest touchscreeen phones to your employees.

Are smartphones and tablets changing the way you do business? Is your org still struggling to keep up with the latest tech? Leave me your questions and comments in the section below, and I’ll be happy to respond.