By Jeff Kaplan
Will mini tablets be the catalyst for widespread BYOD in 2013?
The simple answer is yes.
But more specifically, the iPad mini has the potential to be the “magic bullet" behind widespread adoption of BYOD in 2013, and the latest example of the consumerization of IT.
IHS iSuppli estimates that 17 million 7-inch tablets shipped last year and projects that this year’s total shipments will reach 34 million worldwide. By 2013 that number is expected to nearly double.
We are witnessing a perfect storm of technology and telecommunications as hardware manufacturers are building for mobility, while carriers build their next-generation 4G networks enabling streaming app delivery. At the same time, vendors continue to develop products and solutions that focus specifically on the end user, are mature and allow businesses to cost-effectively and securely shift to a centralized compute model.
Styling and "cool factor" aside, there are four catalysts behind this prediction.
1. VDI Adoption and Vertical Markets. Virtual desktops are penetrating vertical markets like education, financial services, insurance, health care, and government with the promise of IT agility, application management, security, and cost savings.
TechNavio analysts forecast the Global Cloud-based VDI market, marked by the increasing use of handheld devices, to grow at a CAGR of 30.6 percent over the period 2012-2016. (One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the growing need to reduce desktop infrastructure costs.)
Through VDI, support personnel can easily help users resolve various technical problems, as well as create a computing environment that allows applications to be updated once at the server, and then become immediately and universally accessible to all users. In addition, a company’s IT team is protected from spending countless hours expunging malware and viruses; the opportunity for a user to infect their desktop is also drastically reduced, as no enterprise data is stored locally.
2. Price Point. iPad mini is considerably more affordable than its standard sized brethren and a likely choice for budget conscious/constrained consumers of all ages.
3. iOS Dominance. Onswipe found that 98 percent of Web traffic on tablets came via an iPad. By comparison, all Samsung Galaxy models combined came in a very distant second, accounting for only 1.5 percent of traffic.
4. Telework. Both government and private business are allowing a growing contingency of the workforce to operate remotely. In fact, a recent US News & World Report article highlighted telework as a key workplace concern for 2013, as telecommuting will grow as employers want to save costs of office space and time-crunched workers want to decrease their ever-longer commute times.
In a global business community in which workers are increasingly mobile, BYOD looks to remain a fact of life for the foreseeable future. Aided by the growth in enabling technologies like desktop and application virtualization, I believe we will see enterprises worldwide provisioning iPad minis — and other tablets — as part of end-user-focused computing environments.
Jeff Kaplan is CEO of Breakthrough Technology Group, a global leader in cloud, managed and professional IT and telecom solutions.