OPINION PIECE: Mobility for the enterprise - Tablets are not just for consumers

BY GEORGE LODEWICK - OCTOBER 2, 2014

Mobility and always-on connectivity are increasingly taken for granted, and sales of tablet PCs reflect this growing trend. In fact, according to recent statistics released by Dell, tablets out-shipped both desktops and notebooks combined in 2013.

Despite increased sales, however, the vast majority of tablet users exist solely in the consumer space - the tablet is often seen as a convenient device for playing games, interacting on social media and surfing the web, with limited business applications (apps).

In reality though, the tablet has the potential to become a formidable enterprise tool, empowering the mobile workforce like never before. Thanks to the power of business-oriented Operating Systems (OS) and the endless possibilities of custom apps, tablets are poised to revolutionise the business market across a wide variety of industries and applications.

Tablet devices offer many benefits for the mobile workforce, as they provide most of the functionality of a notebook in a small and compact form factor.

They are the ideal tool to help users perform many day-to-day tasks while on the move, as they are lightweight and portable, and offer easy connectivity via Wi-Fi and even 3G and LTE. Checking emails, catching up on reading and even basic spreadsheets and word processing are possible thanks to powerful specifications and the Windows 8.1 OS, optimised for touch devices such as tablets.

Tablets can be used to deliver presentations on the go, to demonstrate and interact during meetings, and even for video and conference calling. Windows-based tablets can also be easily linked with other Windows-based devices, including smartphones, notebooks and desktops, for a seamless transition from the office to ‘on the go’ and even to the home.

In addition to the portability and general functionality of tablets, the world of mobile apps offers many opportunities in the business space. The possibilities for apps are practically limitless, as they can be custom-built to meet the precise requirements of any organisation in any industry. App stores can even be customised, offering only approved and selected apps to users on a corporate network, to ensure that mobile devices can be more easily controlled by the organisation.

In addition, Windows-based tablets are easily integrated into a network using existing security protocols and policies, making them far easier to deploy in a corporate environment.

There are many industries where tablets with custom-designed apps can prove highly beneficial. For example, restaurant franchises with various geographical locations have merchandisers responsible for stock monitoring and ordering.

The reps travel to various locations to take orders, and must then go back to the office once they have visited multiple sites, to input these orders. This results in delays. If the reps had a tablet with a customised app that interfaces with back end systems at head office, they would be able to place orders in real time at each location, greatly improving efficiency.

In the sales sector, tablets can be used to enable traveling staff to complete many tasks on the fly for greater productivity. Insurance companies can develop apps for capturing claims, with all necessary photographs, in real time, on location. The possibilities are endless – apps for mobile devices such as tablets can be used in many verticals, industries and organisations, customised to suit the business, their needs and the needs of the user.

Mobility is the way of the future, for business and consumers alike. Tablets are the ultimate mobile tool, enabling enhanced productivity, greater efficiency and endless possibilities with customised business apps. Windows tablets in particular are ideal for the enterprise, with security and integration features that make them seamless to implement and maintain.

 

CAPTION: Dell Venue 8 tablet. IMAGE sourced from artstechnica.com