Can you believe that the tablet has already been around for approximately 30 years? These three decades have seen a tremendous change in both the tablets themselves and how they are used. However, change took place slowly until Apple disrupted the market by introducing a touchscreen device in 2010. This milestone in the tablet’s evolution created a new class of portable gadgets for casual entertainment which are perfect for consuming videos while travelling, as well as for storing or sharing photographs.
Over time, the role of tablets has shifted. As an entertainment device, a tablet was merely complementary to a notebook. However, just like tablets made an impact on content consumption, they are now disrupting content creation, as the inclusion of keyboards, the emergence of 2 in 1 devices and a growing number of dedicated applications have resulted in tablets replacing laptops for many tasks.
And they are no longer just consumer devices – organizations from multiple sectors are using tablets to improve a variety of business processes. Today, almost every sales representative is armed with a tablet that enables him or her to pull up relevant data and present it directly to customers. The Internet of Things has also created new opportunities for tablets. As more businesses use RFID tags to track their assets, more and more employees are being equipped with tablets and RFID readers to easily keep track of their stock.
In addition, retailers have embraced the fact that the inherent portability of tablets allows them to provide faster, friendlier service – with customer-facing staff using them to take orders or payment from any location. Schools and hospitals are also deploying tablets, creating educational experiences to support all learning preferences and putting a wealth of data at the fingertips of healthcare professionals.
More recently, tablets have evolved to meet new market demands of the marketplace and are gaining traction even in office environments Today, there are now many more 2 in 1 devices available – essentially, tablets with detachable keyboards that allow workers to transition seamlessly from fieldwork to the office. New features are also adding value, for example Fujitsu’s advanced biometric PalmSecure vein scanning which provides highly secure, but user-friendly access to select tablets. Ruggedized tablets are also gaining traction in some commercial areas.
Today, tablets have come a long way from being niche entertainment devices. They are rapidly evolving to function as a user’s primary computing device. According to leading research firm IDC (1), tablets are among the top IT spending priorities for 2017 in enterprises in UK, France, Germany and Sweden. Over two thirds of companies in these countries are evaluating or planning to purchase slate or detachable devices in the short term.
For example, Fujitsu’s STYLISTIC R series is fast becoming the notebook of choice for many road warriors due to its ability to transform into a full performance and full productivity notebook with the addition of its slim magnetic keyboard. Its 4G/LTE enterprise-grade connectivity and security features such as encrypted drives also fulfills the requirements of IT departments.
This trend is driven by the desire to increase employees’ productivity, enabling them to collaborate easily, and to work flexibly from anywhere and at any time. Digital and workplace transformation strategies are also a key driver for tablet adoption. Enterprises’ maturing attitude to tablets can be attributed to their ability to support new digital processes while maximizing engagement with a highly technology savvy customer base.
For those businesses yet to adopt tablets, security concerns remain the primary barrier for purchasing, followed by concerns over the total cost of ownership. Also on respondents’ minds was the issue of application development and the challenges that updating, for example, bespoke vertical applications, present.
The IDC report also found that in 2017, tablets will reach another key milestone. It will be the year that hybrid devices hit the mainstream – these detachable and convertible devices are likely to account for over half of newly purchased tablets. This trend is driven by more widespread acceptance of the tablet. Where tablets were once viewed by businesses as industrial devices, more suited for vertical sectors, they are now securing their place as content creation devices for businesses of all types.
Fujitsu’s is well placed to address this new age of tablets. The expertise gathered from 30 years in the tablet industry has led to the development of a full portfolio that spans from 2in1 devices to ruggedized industrial versions, all of which are designed to empower businesses to achieve the full potential of digital transformation projects.
Balancing the demands of end users with an enterprise’s security needs will be the key to successful deployments. European IT departments want to remain in full control of both the hardware and software that employees are using. If businesses can achieve both flexibility and security, they open up a wealth of new opportunities for staff mobility and collaboration, particularly when equipping their workforce with flexible hybrid devices.
For more information about the findings of the IDC research study and how tablets are evolving, please click on our infographic here: https://sp.ts.fujitsu.com/dmsp/Publications/public/br-Tablet-IDC-Infographic.pdf or watch a recent debate at Fujitsu Forum: Can Tablets Drive the Journey to the Digital Workplace? The discussion features Marta Fiorentini, Research Manager EMEA Personal Computing at IDC, Ntokozo Ncongwane, Consumer Marketing Strategy Manager EMEA at Intel and Ruediger Landto, Head of Category Management Client Computing Devices EMEIA at Fujitsu. To learn more about Fujitsu’s tablets, please visit: http://www.fujitsu.com/fts/products/computing/pc/tablets/
(1) IDC’s study “Tablet in Enterprise 2.0 – The Large Opportunity” – based on 1,500 interviews to IT and LOB decision makers in ten vertical sectors across UK, France, Germany and Sweden