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Alfresco report says IT, not consumers, driving tablet adoption

by David Needle

July 30 2012

iPad and iPhone enthusiasts may have driven the so-called Consumerization of IT trend by insisting companies let them use the devices at work, but a new report says IT is now far more involved in the process.

In fact, contrary to media reports that BYOD is driving tablet adoption, a new survey by cloud content management provider Alfresco says mobile and tablet adoption is now being led by IT departments, despite often being portrayed as reluctant partners in the process.

“We’ve seen two main points come out of our global tablet survey that are counterintuitive to today’s existing enterprise media hype culture - smaller organizations allow for greater widespread tablet experimentation; and IT departments are the real innovators responsible for enterprise tablet adoption,” said John Powell, CEO of Alfresco.

The company said the survey included its extensive customer and prospect network from across the globe, and covered key industries such as enterprise IT, government, education, healthcare and finance.

Among the survey’s key bullet points regarding tablets:

  • Roughly 56% of respondents were from IT with over 90% of respondents reported having used tablet devices and over 75% saying they used tablets for work purposes.
  • About 89% reported moderate to constant use for Web browsing and 82% reported moderate to constant use for email.
  • Over 60% reported little to no use of VoIP, Skype, IM and other synchronous communications while 44% reported little to no use of social networking, indicating that the tablet is more of a passive social device than an active one.
  • Tablets overtake PC usage at home (48% vs. 46%), pull ahead during business meetings (55% vs. 24%) and dominate at conferences (59% vs. 13%).

Chris Hazelton, Research Director for Mobile & Wireless at 451 Research says Alfresco’s survey jives with his company’s findings that a growing number of IT departments are embracing tablets.

"The smartphone is something IT is dealing with because employees are bringing them in. The tablet is different because it has lot more potential to do corporate work and access corporate data and that's something IT wants to get their hands around not just to limit help desk calls but enable better productivity," Hazelton told TabTimes.

Hazelton said another clear indication of corporate interest in tablets is a much higher use of devices with 3G, 4G and LTE-enabled high speed connectivity. 


“There’s very lower consumer adoption of 3G and 4G tablets,” said Hazelton. “It’s not the majority of tablets, but there’s significant interest in the enterprise."

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