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Tablets have fast established themselves as a new mobile computing category. Unsurprisingly, businesses have been quick to realise the benefits.

Of course, for IT professionals, tablets present a number of challenges:

  • How far to permit tablet use in their organisations
  • The best way to manage and deploy them
  • What to do about bring your own device (BYOD) employees
  • And how to ensure security of both devices and their data

Vodafone Global Enterprise recently conducted a three-month tablet trial among a sample group of our own employees. We wanted to both get a better understanding of the business relevancy of tablets and gain insights into the services and support our customers will need. Here we’ve summarised the six key findings:

  1. Consumerisation is here Over a third of participants volunteered to be included in the trial using their own devices. They recognised that the benefits they were already seeing at home were directly relevant to their work too.

  2. Tablets are mostly suited to highly mobile presenters Across all user types, heaviest tablet use was at home or while travelling, with email, intranet access and enterprise social networking the principal business uses. Individual usage patterns suggest that enterprises should focus initially on supporting tablet deployments with their field-sales and business leads.

  3. Tablets enhance productivity during downtime & travel The high portability and always-on capabilities tablets offer were particularly appreciated. Frustration with downtime declined and we saw average productivity gains of between three and five hours per user per week.

  4. Tablets are a complimentary device, not a replacement We found that tablets were not a replacement for either laptops or smartphones but rather a complimentary device for specific contexts.

  5. Security is a key fear Security was recognised as an important issue by participants, suggesting that enterprises make provision for both device and data protection by embracing relevant security applications.

  6. Collaboration is a critical support mechanism Nearly all queries were addressed online by the user community themselves. This underlines the importance of ensuring a suitable collaborative environment is in place