PCs or Tablets: What’s more apt for the business user?

by Shweta Verma    Oct 22, 2013

PCs or tablets

The demand for easy-to-use smart devices for surfing, gaming and other popular apps has been steadily rising. The consumer market is showing a clear preference for tablets over PCs. With tablets/smart devices becoming more affordable, the users are also getting more encouraged to switch over. But is the business user ready to replace his PC with a tablet?

According to Gartner, worldwide tablet shipments are expected to grow 53.4 percent this year, with shipments reaching 184 million units. PC shipments, which have been showing a continuous downward trend, are expected to decline by 8.4% this year. But these numbers are primarily driven by the consumer market.  “Consumers’ shift from PCs to tablets for daily content consumption continues to decrease the installed base of PCs both in mature as well as in emerging markets,” says Mikako Kitagawa, Principal Analyst, Gartner.

However, in the case of the business users, the shift has been quite gradual. Many are still not convinced if tablets can meet all their work requirements. A report by Nemertes Research says that only about 12% of employees are currently using tablets for business purposes today. Even though analysts expect this to increase to 26% by 2014, the enterprise user may not be ready to switch over completely at this stage.

Business users argue that while tablets may be more useful for certain functions, they have their own limitations. For functions like sales or customer service, where you require quick access to information without too much processing, tablets might be more suitable. In cases where you need extensive processing or content creation, tablets may not be able to serve all your needs.

Laptops or PCs are equipped with more powerful operating systems, support more functions and are designed for extensive content processing. However, for the mobile workforce they prove more cumbersome to carry. They would rather opt for light weight, instant access devices that are more mobile.

Many enterprises are trying to resolve these issues by providing their mobile workers with cloud-enabled apps and smarter devices with increased functionality and access to corporate information. Vendors, on the other hand are coming up newer and better versions of tablets/laptops and multi-purpose devices.

Technology experts argue that the shift from PCs to tablets is taking longer among business users because of their conditioning and comfort with the PCs and not so much due to the limitations of tablets.

In the midst of these arguments, tablet vendors will continue to enhance the functionalities of tablets while PC makers will try and make them more portable and easy to carry. Till they are able to achieve the right blend or balance between the two, business users can make their own choices. Tablets or PCs, whatever you find more apt for your function!