Forrester has released a new report. Mastering The Business Tablet Landscape by Ted Schadler and Simon Yates. I was pleased to receive a review copy. It notes that by 2016, 375 million tablets will be sold globally and 760 million will be in use.
In comparison it took PCs 20 years to reach that install base. Now 81 percent of firms expect to support tablets for employees.
The trend toward consumerization of IT has changed the way devices are getting into the business. At the same tine, the multitude of business scenarios and the tech sophistication of business users mean that IT cannot completely control tablet deployments.
According to this new report, if IT applies the same acquisition and deployment process with tablets that it does with computers, it runs the risk of not meeting business and employee requirements. Instead, Forrester recommends that IT should advocate for business-driven tablet programs.
They argue that tablets are the best tools for workflow and information process improvement since the PC and I would agree. Some tablets implementations can transform how work gets done and who does which tasks. This is why business-driven tablet projects need a tight collaboration between IT and business decision-makers and employees.
Currently, Forrester notes that the business side is left out of too many implementation steps. CIOs need to ensure business involvement all along the way as the transformative use cases will be business driven. At the same time some useful bottoms-up use case will emerge as employees experiment with tablet use. CIOs need to allow for both business driven and employee empowering use cases.
The rise of tablets will drive up the number of “anytime, anywhere” information workers. More than two-thirds of employees who use a tablet for work point to the portability compared to a laptop and being able to get things done whenever it’s convenient as the key reasons why they use a tablet. It is interesting to note that 65% told Forrester that they use the tablet at home to do work. This compares with 52% who use the tablet at their work desk and 46% who use it in a different room in the office.
These numbers are also not far off from a similar survey performed by Neilson back in May, 2011 (Connected Devices: How we Use Tablets in the U.S.), indicating that the trend is here to stay.
Employees will use multiple devices, work from multiple locations and use at least seven applications in their work.
Employees utilize a broader array of applications on tablets than they do on smartphones. For example, productivity apps like word processors (60%), spreadsheets (53%), note-taking apps (50%), and presentation tools (49%) are more useful on a touchscreen tablet than a smart phone. These are the type of apps that are best served when they are connected.
Forrester concludes that IT needs to embrace a multi-platform, multi-ecosystem – and a multi-device – world.
Until IT can get all the apps an employee will ever need running well on a tablet, it should act as though tablets are just one of three devices it will have to support. Firms also need to understand that it’s a multi-ecosystem world and that they will have to deploy the apps and infrastructure and services to support multi-platform, multi-ecosystem tablets.
Again, this raises the need for extensive application integration for the connected enterprise to remain connected and competitive.
There is much more in the report – certainly recommend it for anyone involved in tablet implementations and building out a connected enterprise strategy.