Customized Apps Critical to Extracting Value from Tablets in Business

While useful where data presentation and consumption” are concerned, a tablets form factor and touchscreen make using everyday productivity applications such as spreadsheets and word processors difficult. However, using line-of-business tablet applications specifically designed for particular roles within an organization can provide real value.

That’s the conclusion of researcher Ovum whose forecasts show that there will be in excess of 235 million tablets in circulation by 2016, which means the topic of bring/buy your own device” will continue to be debated within business circles.

In a new report, Ovum reveals that many organizations are adopting tablets simply to appease employees desires for the latest technology, rather than considering the real business case.

For most companies, it is a top-down movement,” says Richard Absalom, an analyst at Ovum and author of the report. The CEO or another C-level executive gets hold of an iPad for their personal use and decides that they want to be able to use it in the office. It is hard for the IT department to say no when it is the CEO making the demand, so this opens up the path to further adoption throughout the organization.”

However, Ovum is starting to see a more structured and creative approach by CIOs looking to deploy tablets for specific functions, proactively exploiting this form factor rather than just responding to employee requests for device support.

Providing a range of customized applications that make use of tablet functionalities for employees in specific job roles is a good way to gain maximum value from tablets,” explains Absalom. The growing use of in-house app stores indicates that more and more companies are going down this custom development route.”

While some companies may decide that there is no added value in provisioning tablets instead of, or as well as, laptops, they may allow employees to bring their own, in order to improve engagement. In which case, as with any BYOD policy, these personally owned devices need to be subject to corporate mobility and security policies.

Businesses need to ensure that any tablets being used by employees are as secure as possible, so that vital corporate data is protected,” Absalom concluded.


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