IT Experts Weigh In: Tablets Taking Over the Office … Good, Bad?

by / Monday, 15 October 2012 / Published in Business

 

Tablets are everywhere today, no question about it. Just like the iPod of ten years ago and the iPhone of five years ago, iPads, along with Android- and Microsoft-powered tablets, permeate nearly every aspect of our lives—and our jobs. But is their presence in the office something for managers to be worried about, or should they be excited? Our team of IT experts weighs in on this important issue.

Pros:

  1. Employees can work from anywhere because tablets go anywhere. With a virtual desktop, they can even access their desktop from that tablet.
  2. Your team of IT experts won’t spend as much time troubleshooting because tablets have no moving parts (moving hard drive, hinges, latches, etc.)
  3. At under $500 each (and decreasing rapidly) you’ll spend much less on an arsenal of tablets than you would for PCs or laptops.
  4. You can easily monitor security and access issues by locking down functionality and restricting access with ease on each employee’s tablet.
  5. You’re not spending money on equipment many of your employees don’t need. Most employees input limited information and don’t need a keyboard.
  6. Each employee has exactly the type of device he or she needs for their job. Most employees consume information rather than producing it; tablets are all-stars when it comes to consuming information.

Cons:

  1. If your company uses proprietary programs, you may have to build your own custom apps. If you don’t have that capability in-house, you can outsource it… but it’ll be expensive.
  2. App stores boast tons of business apps (especially for iOS, Android, and Microsoft), but you might not be able to find the exact program you need.
  3. Tablets are great, but they still can’t replace PCs and laptops for all jobs. If employees can’t easily do their jobs on a tablet their work quality suffers.
  4. Tablets aren’t just a toy; they store all your valuable data. If you don’t take adequate security measures, that data could get lost or stolen.
  5. The downside of a device being mobile is that it can easily be lost or stolen. It’s also expensive to keep track of a large number of tablets.
  6. You may lose productivity as employees learn how to use their tablet. Many employees are resistant to tablets because they’re used to their computer.

The IT Experts’ Verdict on Office Tablets

Tablets aren’t going anywhere.  Forrester Research  estimated that 25% of computers used for work globally are now tablets and smartphones—not PCs. You can’t stem the tide of progress… But if you plan ahead and work with a team of IT experts, you can avoid the ‘Pandora’s box’ of tablet-related issues that some companies run into.

The biggest mistake we usually see is when a manager rashly decides to buy everyone a tablet, regardless of what their roles are. He or she simply makes the purchase, passes them out, and leaves it up to the employees to figure it out…  Bad idea!  Learn everything you can,  speak with the IT experts , and develop an extensive plan  before  you make a bulk purchase. Your employees (as well as your CFO and IT manager) will thank you.

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