Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tablets as the new PC -mobile enterprise solution of the future?

Apple reported that 50% of Fortune 100 companies were using the iPad by the end of the second quarter of 2010, and 80% by the fourth quarter. According to Comtex/Reportlinker, tablet sales to enterprises will increase from 13.7m units in 2011 to 96.4m units in 2016.At the same time, Gartner forecasts that total media tablet sales were 64m in 2011 and will will reach 326.3m units in 2015 and by 2016 900m tablets will be in the hands of users. Many of these tablets will be used both at home and in the enterprise as the “Bring your own device” phenomenon continues.Researchers and businesses all indicate that tablets can really improve productivity output by providing access to information, internet, communication tools, enterprise IT systems and productivity software. But are tablets actually being used for business and productivity today?Current usage behavior seems to indicate that tablets are primarily consumer devices used to consume media and entertain. According to a study by Localytics most time was spent on news, music and health, whereas the most frequent usage was for games, followed by news and music.

There are three key trends that will drive uptake of tablets and smartphones in the enterprise:

1. Existing IT systems and online services get mobilised

Over the past couple of years, online companies such as Salesforce,, Linkedin and Basecamp, as well as traditional IT businesses including SAP, Microsoft, Oracle, IBM and Filemaker, have invested heavily in mobilising their online services.

2. Independent productivity applications

The best mobile productivity tools today were created, built and designed by start-ups with mobile first (or very early) in mind. This includes amazing apps such as Evernote, Slideshark, Hourstracker, GoodReader, Pages, Omnifocus, Dropbox and Bloom, which help improve personal productivity through note taking, task management, presentations, file sharing, time tracking and more.The great thing with all of these apps is that you can use them completely independently of your IT department at a very low cost or even for free. At the same time, these benefits pose a major challenge to Enterprise IT departments that want to remain in control of the tools used for business and how business information is stored and accessed.

3. Vertical mobile solutions

The most critical success factor to succeed with mobile enterprise apps is to understand the employees’ needs and key use cases, and implement a user experience to address each business area need. Great examples include sector-specific apps such as:

-Salesforce solutions used by field sales teams to prepare and plan for meetings, access the latest marketing material, present at the meeting, record feedback, follow-up with material and report to CRM.
-Real estate agent solutions for registering new objects, recording information about the object including owner details, object information, photos and videos, monitoring and communicating with prospective buyers and updating records when a deal is closed.

(this post is based on an article written by Magnus Jern and published in The Guardian)

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