03/05/2012 02:45 pm ET

iPad Usage Among Small-Business Owners Jumps 25 Percent

Thirty-four percent of owners of small and medium-sized businesses say the iPad is a crucial part of their business operations, according to a new national survey by The Business Journals.

iPad usage has grown from a mere 9 percent in 2010 to 34 percent in 2011, making it the fastest growing technology relevant to the small-business market. While many have yet to tap the device's services, 75 percent of small-business owners said they are "very or somewhat familiar" with the device.

The survey, which polled more than 1,400 business owners of companies with five to 499 employees, showed that this tech-savvy group is also very successful. Seventy-two percent of those surveyed have a college education, have been in business for an average of 28 years and are earning an average of $9.2 million in annual sales.

"Our research has shown that for small business owners, productivity and efficiency, which used to be the central benefits of technology, are now declining in importance compared to accessibility," said Godfrey Phillips, vice president of research at The Business Journals in a statement. "Now it's crucial that business owners have access to their business information and data anytime and anywhere."

The iPad was first introduced in January 2010, when the stock market was 3,000 points below today's levels and home sales were at a nine-month low. During that time, entrepreneurs became hyperaware of their business operations, Phillips explained. According to the survey -- which will be available March 31 -- the increased usage of smartphones and the introduction of cloud computing to the general market has also greatly contributed to the greater presence of technology in small businesses.