Corporate travellers increasingly book their trips via mobile devices, a recent study conducted by Carlson Wagonlit Travel reveals. The firm polled 1,804 business travellers and 173 travel managers from various industries around the world and asked them about their mobile habits when it comes to corporate bookings. The travel managers represented organisations with corporate travel spend of $75 million per year on average.

The overall trend shows that corporate travellers are becoming increasingly comfortable with booking via mobile devices, with the study projecting that 25% of corporate bookings will be made on mobile devices by 2017. The report points out that this trend is partly boosted by growing global adoption of smartphones in the corporate world.

At present only 62% of corporate travellers carry a smartphone. However, the proportion is likely to increase given the accelerating bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend and its growing prominence in the IT policies of the organisations polled. As more and more workers bring their mobile devices into the office, they are more likely to use apps they are familiar with and stick with purchase processes they know. With people seeking the comfort of familiar behaviours, corporate travellers are also increasingly using tablets both for work and private activities.

Mobility is essential and it is already having an impact on corporate travel management, the report states. This is a trend that is likely to gain further momentum over the next two years. Travellers are positive about this change as it is related to increased productivity on-the-go and makes it easier to track expenses.

However, there are differences between what travel managers and travellers see as the benefits of enhanced mobile services for travel. Corporate travellers rank ease of doing business in first place, while travel managers consider traveller well-being the most important benefit.

In terms of the particular features they find important, on-the-go services such as flight status updates and itinerary information are rated highest by both travellers and travel managers, followed by the ability to book or rebook travel.

Corporate travel managers are less bullish than business travellers when it comes to estimating the proportion of mobile bookings to be made in the car, air and hotel sectors over the next two years. If they want to keep up with the increasingly mobile workforce and expectations of business travellers, travel managers should implement mobile managed services. By making good use of mobile technology, companies can maintain control while giving employees more freedom over when and how to organise their travel, the report points out.