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Enterprises Adopting Tablets without Clear Strategy

According to a new survey conducted by Dimensional Research, enterprise adoption of iPads and tablets is growing strong. Nearly a quarter (22 percent) say they have formally deployed such devices, and an additional 22 percent will deploy tablets this year. If plans become reality, more than three-quarters (78 percent) of respondents’ organizations will have tablets in use by the end of 2013.

The problem: over half of respondents say they don’t have a strategy for adapting these devices. Even worse, 72 percent say there are tablets in use in their organizations, even though they haven't been “formally deployed.” Over four in 10 devices (41 percent) are personal hardware purchases used by individuals for enterprise applications. Only 12 percent of participants say their corporation’s IT policy forbids tablets.

Apple is the enterprise-tablet frontrunner. Of those planning to deploy tables, 83 percent plan to deploy iPads; 34 percent plan to deploy tablets based on the Android operating system (no single brand dominated), and 19 percent plan to add BlackBerry Playbooks. Apple’s popularity is due to the availability of productivity tools according to 51 percent of those surveyed.

iPads make their initial introduction to an organization through C-level executives (49 percent) or a senior IT executive (19 percent). “However, once iPads are introduced into the organization, it is primarily IT [that] is driving future adoption. According to participants, corporate IT is typically spearheading tablet adoption (48 percent) rather than C-levelexecutives or business stakeholders,” the report notes. Executives use iPads the most, followed by corporate IT, sales, and field service personnel. The most popular application: sales force automation.

When it comes to a formal strategy for tablet adoption, over half of participants (51 percent) report their organization does not have a “clearly articulated strategy.”

There’s more worrisome news: “Among those with a strategy, the majority of them cited an application-driven approach (28 percent), where iPads would be deployed to support specific applications and business functions that were a good fit for the unique capabilities of tablets. Very few participants report that their companies are adopting tablets to save money with only 4 percent describing their strategy as bottom-line driven with the goal of reducing costs.”

You’ve probably read how tablets are going to supersede laptops and desktops. According to the survey, however, this “conventional wisdom” isn't so wise. Only 18 percent said tablets will replace laptops; the remaining 82 percent see tables complementing laptops.

The survey results are based on 448 responses from "business executives, business managers, IT executives, IT managers, and hands-on IT professionals" across a wide range of company sizes and industries.  The survey was conducted in April, 2011  and sponsored by Model Metrics.

-- James E. Powell
Editorial Director, ESJ

Posted by Jim Powell on 05/17/2011

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