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The rise of iPad for the enterprise

Posted on 11 Apr, 2012 by in Huddle news | Leave a comment

A few weeks ago, Pauline, Huddle’s Head of Public Sector, wrote about the exponential rise of the tablet in both private and public sector organizations and the buying frenzy sparked by the launch of the new iPad – three million tablets flew off the shelves in just 72 hours.

Today, the latest figures from analyst house Gartner show that the popularity of the tablet is showing no signs of abating. As PC sales continue to struggle, with shipments expected to increase by just 4.4 per cent this year, the sale of tablets has grown by almost 100 per cent in the last year. Gartner predicts that 118.9 million tablets will be sold this year alone and by 2016 there will be 665 million tablets in use across the globe. There are no prizes for guessing who is the dominant vendor – Apple continues to retain its iron grip on the market. While its dominance has declined from 83 per cent in 2010, the Apple iOS is still projected to account for more than 60 per cent (61.4 per cent) of sales to end users this year.

With an increasing number of people demanding anytime, anywhere access to both personal and business content, the popularity of the ipad for the enterprise is not surprising. Since the launch of the iPad a couple of years ago, the way in which we access, share and create content has transformed. Emails can be written and sent, documents can be created, reviewed and edited, music recommendations and photos can be instantly posted to our social networks and videos can be watched with just a few taps of the screen, for example.  While there were many tablets before Apple entered the market, it was the iPad that made them a genuinely desirable product for consumers and this is where the lines between personal and enterprise use of tablets blur. Apple didn’t go out with the intention to make an iPad for the enterprise, but its ease of use & vast app store led to its enterprise adoption. For me, the most interesting statistics in Gartner’s research relate to the enterprise / consumer split of tablet sales. The analyst house estimates that enterprise sales will make up more than a third (35 per cent) of tablets sold in 2015, but these will not be solely enterprise purchases. With many organizations now adopting a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategy, consumers are now being given the green light to bring their personal devices into the work environment – be it an office, a hospital or on a construction site.

This means that tablet vendors are now facing the challenge that traditional enterprise software has been up against for the last few years – the consumer expectations of simplicity and usability need to be balanced with the IT department’s demand for enterprise-level security.

For the IT department, BYOD and the wealth of devices and operating systems means more headaches. To prevent loss of data, network security breaches and IP theft, it is essential that a plan is put in place to deal with the rise of consumer devices. However, if approached and deployed successful, the benefits reaped from empowering people to work on the move can include increased productivity, flexibility and efficiency. Andy McLoughlin, Huddle’s EVP Strategy, recently provided his advice for dealing with the consumerization of IT – and specifically BYOD – in his Web Worker Daily post. (http://bit.ly/xBieZ9)

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