Businesses to drive tablet PC adoption

by Sohini Bagchi    Sep 21, 2012

Tablet PCTablet PC is currently a hot property in the enterprise circle and is set to witness a phenomenal growth in the next 1-2 years, according to industry experts. A recent IDC report indicated that over 117 million tablet PCs will be sold in 2012 worldwide and another 165 million will be purchased in 2013 and it is the enterprise segment that is driving the sales and adoption of this technology.

According to data, over 30 percent of the US enterprises have already deployed tablets in their businesses in some form or the other. Indian enterprises are also gearing up to adopt tablets in their businesses for various operational purposes.

What is driving its adoption?

Portability, productivity and diverse utility of tablets make it the perfect tool for enterprises, especially businesses that are on-the-go. According to Jennifer Song, IDC research analyst, as far as usage is concerned although the top management is armed with the device in the initial stages of deployment, at the second phase of adoption, it is trickled down mostly to the sales persons of the company and also employees on the move, so as to make them more effective while they are on business trips and meetings.

“Enterprise mobility is growing at a tremendous pace in India. Those with highly distributed workforce are embracing tablet devices for efficient operations and timely communication, even though it may not replace laptops or desktop PCs in India right now,” says Kumar R Parakala, Head of Management Consulting - IT Advisory, KPMG in EMA.

According to IDC, enterprises in verticals including retail, BFSI, healthcare, education and telecom as well as those executives on the go are the key adopters of tablet devices in India.

“With the percentage of mobile workforce expected to increase in the coming years, tablets will become an indispensible tool for remote employees. Burgeoning broadband penetration and diverse connectivity options will further drive the adoption of tablets in businesses,” said Parakala.

“However, with tablets becoming increasingly popular and also with the advent of newer concepts such as bring your own device (BYOD) in the workplace, it is essentially important for enterprises to address the problem of corporate data security,” warns technology evangelist Manoj C R. “CIOs and decision makers should have suitable mobility policies in place and ensure that employees follow those policies.”

For example, implementing mobile device management (MDM) in an organisation can enhance the security and functionality of mobile network including smartphones and tablet. This cannot however, this is not highly challenging because there are ample security solutions in the market that are providing newer ways of security protection to mobile devices and the market is maturing.

However, Manoj opines that as tablets emerged as one of the promising technology in recent times just like social networking or cloud computing, and if enterprises refrain from using it, they are losing out on a big opportunity in the digital world.

Future trends

The research reveals that Apple iPad has already become a preferred choice for enterprises making it a powerful industry tool. Parakala opines that the future will see tablets with more advanced enterprise features and functionalities which in turn will boost its adoption across business verticals. In fact BYOD will further drive the adoption of tablets in the enterprise segment.

“Tablets running Microsoft’s Windows 8 and RT operating systems will add some momentum this year. The arrival of low-cost tablets is also expected to sweep the market in the next one year, making the device a favoured option even within mid-sized and small enterprise segment,” says Song.

IDC predicts that the tablet market will continue to grow with increased level of adoption from emerging business segments such as media, pharmaceuticals as well as government. With an increased demand the worldwide shipments of these computing devices are expected to reach 261.4 million units by 2016.