The Business Case for Tablets

December 20, 2012

Similar to the path of smartphones, tablets are transitioning rapidly from the consumer market into the enterprise. The difference in form factor with tablets is a significant one, offering companies the promise of a more mobile and eventually more versatile platform that will replace the long-time stalwart laptop. Over the next year, users who replace their laptops entirely with tablets will do so primarily for specific business cases. Within a few years, we will see tablet functionality that surpasses laptops, accompanied by much larger adoption and workers using tablets as their primary compute devices. Tablets today have much larger roles as companion, rather than replacement, devices. However, enterprises and employees alike are uncovering processes where laptops or desktops don’t offer the same level of mobility, touch interface or instant-on capabilities as tablets. Specific tablet use cases including improved sales results and fieldwork input are providing companies opportunities for savings or productivity enhancements. Companies are improving their supporting infrastructure for tablets, a trend demonstrated best by enterprise investments in mobile-specific apps or virtual desktop interface (VDI) capabilities. Tablets’ increasingly compelling business cases are driving IT departments to ask the question, “At what point do tablets become a stronger multi-purpose device than the laptop?” The answer for some roles is today, but for the majority of companies, tablets aren’t yet at the point where they can fully replace PCs.

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