CIOs polarized by tablets in business but some view them as laptop replacements

by Doug Drinkwater

March 8 2013

Around half of UK CIOs are considering buying tablets rather than laptops
Around half of UK CIOs are considering buying tablets rather than laptops

The proliferation of tablets in business continues to gather momentum – one new study concludes that 50% of mid-sized company CIOs in the U.K are thinking about offering tablets to their employees rather than laptops.

The study, which took in the views of 500 CIOs, discovered that half of these folk wanted to embrace tablets because their form factor made them more appropriate for hot-desking schemes.

[Edit: Hot-desking usually involves multiple employees using the same workstation during different times of the weeks, often in a bid to save costs.]

In truth though, the Virgin Media Business study had a mixed message on tablets in business.

Approximately 43% of surveyed CIOs believed that removing tablets would have no impact on their business, although another 15% claimed that they could operate their business without a laptop or PC. “We’re at a crossroads about which office hardware to invest in next,” said Duncan Higgins, director of product and marketing at Virgin Media Business.

“Clearly there’s a shift away from PCs, but it’s not clear yet if tablets are the heir apparent. Half of the market seems to be in favour of them, and the other half wouldn’t even notice if they weren’t around anymore.”

“What we can say is that businesses want hardware that’ll free them from their traditional IT shackles. They want their workforce to be more flexible, and they want their business to be able to implement change more quickly.

"It strongly hints at a move towards mobile technology but it’s up for grabs at the moment if this will be answered by tablets, laptops, or a hybrid of both.”

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  • ugartabtimes
    1 year 8 months ago

    This makes sense. I just had a discussion with a friend on this subject. We were discussing how much the smartphone and tablet have changed our use of laptops at home. My friend's wife, who never used text messages or email, began using them as she started using her iPad. They find themselves avoiding the laptop and are beginning to realize they may need two tablets. This same phenomenon makes sense in the workplace. With tablets and smartphones as portable as they are, you can expect employees to chat with each other and be online more than on their laptop/desktop. In addition, how many employees actually need laptops? Many just need access to see data, like all technicians in a lab where workspace is limited, and it is very difficult to carry around laptops/systems. With tablets, they have the portable form factor and can respond to emails while in the lab doing work. In addition, you reclaim the space for the dumb terminal you have for generic use. Laptops will not disappear, but they are going the way of the desktop PC, where they'll become more of a vertical market as well as evolve into the hybrid form factor that Microsoft is pursuing.

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