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Special Report

Stepping up to the tablet?

Virat Bahri 22 November 2012

CIOs have to engage themselves more deeply into the tablet acquisition and deployment process to leverage their benefits to the hilt


Till even five years ago, few CIOs would have vouched for their potential. But by 2016, it is estimated that there will be around 250 million tablets in use globally. They will take 10 years to reach 750 million, while the conventional PC took twice the time to reach that number. However, the tremendous boom in the tablet market globally today is having such a tremendously disruptive impact that it is bound to have a profound influence on IT department strategies in organisations.


As per a recent Forrester report titled 'Mastering the Business Tablet Landscape', around 81% of organisational decision makers are looking to deploy tablets for employees. After surveying global information workers, Forrester found that while 12% of them used tablets, around 8% of them paid for the tablets themselves. Around 15% of information workers have been found to use at least 3 devices, work from at least 3 different locations and use at least seven apps.


The report further gives five interesting use case scenarios – the mobile sales force using tablets to close sales quickly; employees at retail outlets and hotel receptions getting mobile beyond a desk or a point of sale; better collection, delivery and analysis of field data; dashboard facility for managers and employees looking for access to the information in real time and of course, the benefits of anytime, anywhere connectivity.


Analysts Ted Schadler and Simon Yates affirm in the report, “Tablets will bring computing to the next billion people. But just what those billion people will do with them — or for your business — is still anybody’s guess.” The most interesting, and potentially worrying part of the trends in business tablets is that around half of them are being brought in by employees, with CIOs having little or no control over the purchase of the tablet, OS, apps, et al. The report recommends that CIOs should keep their eyes and ears open for the evolving trends and collaborate with employees at critical phases in the purchase decision process; to ensure that the organisation can leverage the potential of these new age devices to the hilt.

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