The challenge of tablets in the enterprise

Independent analysis company Ovum has released a new report titled Challenges and Best Practices for Deploying Tablets in the Enterprise which finds that tablets are ever more prevalent in businesses.

It notes that as the market for tablets grows, usage of these devices is changing the way people work and is having a noticeable impact on the enterprise. Whether through units supplied by the company or BYOD, fast increasing numbers of tablets are being used to access corporate data and applications.

Richard Absalom, analyst for Consumer Impact Technology at Ovum and author of the report says, "Coupled with imaginative thinking around how mobile apps could provide new or improved processes in specific roles, tablet deployments have the potential to change the way that businesses operate. The primary challenge for the enterprise is to turn tablet usage into a genuinely transformative deployment, taking into account but not just reacting to demand from employees that are bringing their own tablet or want to be provided with one".

The survey, conducted in the second quarter of this year, finds that 17.6 percent of employees had already been provided with a tablet by their employer, up from 12.5 percent in 2012. Of respondents that owned a personal tablet, 66.7 percent used that device at work. The number of personal tablet owners increased from 28.4 percent in 2012 to 44.5 percent in 2013. Given this growth it's safe to assume a fast increasing number of personally owned tablets are also being used at work.

According to Absalom, "Although increasing numbers of employees are being provided with a tablet by their employer, the primary route for tablets into the enterprise is through the consumer/employee channel. Over 66 percent of employees who personally own a tablet use them for work." He goes on to suggest, "The first step to a successful tablet deployment is to understand employee behaviour and activity. Employees are using multiple devices to access corporate data and content, and any tablet or mobility strategy must be set in this context".

Providing access to corporate data via tablets presents new security challenges. But Ovum warns that it's important any security solution doesn't come at the expense of the user experience and risk turning users away from using approved software.

You can read more or access the full report via the Ovum website.

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