How do tablets fit into your business?

Tablets may be the must-have device for consumers, but do they fit into the workplace, and if so, how? Clare Hopping investigates.

Whether you're a small company with a couple of employees or a medium enterprise, you'll need to consider whether to invest in new technology or whether to stick to those trusted within your company ecosystem.

Tablets are becoming the trend for consumers, as smartphones became the norm a few years ago, but what does this mean for businesses? Will tablets be the new essential piece of kit for mobile workers?

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A study by Generator Research late last year proved tablets were becoming the replacement must have' device for businesses. The analyst firm predicted tablet sales would reach 117 million units by 2014 . That compares with 48 million low-cost netbooks, and 139 million conventional desktop PCs. Tablets sales are certainly catching up fast.

The problem now is the tablet revolution is bringing in new operating systems...

Clive Longbottom, founder of Quocirca explained the tablet is essentially a further level in the consumerisation of IT within a business.

"When laptops cost 2,000 and a mobile phone around the same, provision of such items had to be through the company, and so lock-down was relatively easy."

The first area of consumerisation was with the mobile phone once consumer deals came to the point where the handset was heavily subsidised, users could get what they wanted as a style statement for free,' dumping the company Nokia 6510, taking the SIM card and putting it in their choice of device.

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"This was no real problem, as the handsets were still pretty dumb and the only real issue was the bill that could be racked up if someone lost their phone which happened with corporate handsets as well," explained Longbottom.

Then laptops collapsed in price and this brought in some issues. If an individual sourced their own laptop, they expected to be able to do everything they wanted to do as an individual on it.

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