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Tablets in Enterprise: A Courtship set to culminate in Marriage!


I am overtly excited by the possibilities of tablets becoming ubiquitous in the enterprise and I have written on multiple occasions on the same subject. I know I am a little optimistic given that there a lot of constraints with price and security being some of the most critical ones.

However, if the initial courtship between tablets and the enterprise are anything to go by it sure looks like a perfect marriage is on the cards.

The latest infographic by Socialcast highlights some key trends on adoption of tablets in the enterprise along with some interesting growth numbers

Enterprise Tablet socialcast

If there were any doubts about the meteoric growth in tablet shipments / sales, the infographic shares some real nifty numbers

Tablet Growth numbers

  • Total tablet shipments globally reached 15.1 Mn in 2011 (Q2). There has been this raging debate about how shipment number do not equal sales but even then, the YOY change does make for a positive adoption trend!
  • Tablet sales forecast data is even more promising. As many as 82 Mn tablets are expected to be sold by 2015 in US alone. The forecast might be on the higher side but I think it takes into account the enterprise level adoption which can catapult the tablet sales to the levels forecasted
  • Apple definitely had the first mover advantage and continues to lead the tablet race with iPad. However, Android is gaining fast and has captured a sizable market share within a year from 2010 to 2011. One interesting challenge from an enterprise perspective will be the open-source nature of Android making it tricky for the IT department to allow its use.
    But, as cited in the earlier post, even technology vendors like SAP are bullish on the Android platform

Enterprise Usage Patterns

Now for the enterprise usage patterns and the juicy bits about how enterprises are romancing the tablet,
  • As many as 72% of US enterprises are now using tablets in one way or another. 62% of the enterprises are found using the tablets multiple times a day. Multiple time usage pattern is a positive sign for the adoption of tablets because for tablets to become a key device in the enterprise, executives will have to find tablets worthy for multiple activities
  • Majority of executives in enterprises use tablets for checking e-mails (37%) and surfing the web (30%). But, tablets are increasing being used to give presentations, create content and taking notes. E-mail is expected to remain the most used be it smartphones or tablets but interesting to see people using tablets for content creation as well. I would personally like to see business software especially reporting dashboards to find their way to tablets soon enough

Can Tablets Replace Laptops In The Enterprise?

According to me, the answer is NO!
For one the price point of tablets is going to make the enterprise wide adoption challenging and the tablet ecosystem is still not powerful and mature enough to serve majority of enterprise needs.
However, a good 27% of mobile workers see tablets replacing laptops for business use in the future. For senior executives tablets can sure be a worthy replacement for a laptop.
What are your thoughts on growing enterprise adoption of tablets? Do you think tablet adoption in enterprise will continue to grow to an extent where the laptop can be replaced?

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