BYOD Tablets Disrupt Enterprise IT?

Business managers dictating device decisions, flood of tablets force rethinking of enterprise IT say analysts.

Rob Enderle principal analyst at Enderle Group shares view on tablets and enterprise IT

“Today, line managers make the decisions as opposed to IT guys with regard to the technology that the user uses, and users have a great deal to say about the technology that drives line manager decisions,” said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at Enderle Group.

Spending on information technology is projected to decline overall this year, but tablet buyers are forecast to buck that trend and drop $23 billion more on the devices than last year. Many of those tablets will inevitably find their way into organizations on a BYOD basis, further eroding enterprise IT control over employee devices according to industry analysts.

In the past, enterprise IT departments purchased and managed PCs for employees. The BYOD trend has loosened IT’s grip and the pressure is coming not only from individual employees, but from line business managers, according to Rob Enderle, principal analyst at Enderle Group.

“Today, line managers make the decisions as opposed to IT guys with regard to the technology that the user uses, and users have a great deal to say about the technology that drives line manager decisions,” said Enderle. “IT is pretty much off balance at the moment. They don’t have a lot of say with regard to what’s brought in and they don’t have the resources to support everything, so we’re dealing with somewhat of a mess.”

Enderle said that while this is opening the door for more consumer devices inside workplaces, consumer devices are evolving rapidly with new categories and form factors.

“I’m one of those people who believe that tablets are going to get squeezed out of the middle as we go through this second half of the decade,” said Enderle. “But right now, a tablet fulfills that role between a smartphone that’s too small and a notebook computer that’s too large, heavy and expensive.”

Bob O’Donnell, vice president of clients and displays at IDC research, has a different view of tablets. He cites a recent research report that indicates tablets aren’t “tweener” devices for many people.

Maribel Lopez principal analyst at Lopez Research on tablets and enterprise IT

“They (tablets) are good at quick access to information, email and replacing paper, but they’re not replacing mainstream computing yet,” said Maribel Lopez, principal analyst at Lopez Research.

“About 50 percent said they bought their own tablet,” he said. “Even though there’s been a lot of talk about only having one device, for a lot of people they’re actually happier with two devices. They want to have a tablet device and they want to have a PC device.”

Are Tablets Built for the Enterprise?

A slower PC refresh rate in many enterprises has meant that many employees are using older and heavier laptops or even desktops. That’s helped fuel the BYOD trend as people bring tablets into work to augment their PC, particularly for doing things on the go.

“They (tablets) are good at quick access to information, email and replacing paper, but they’re not replacing mainstream computing yet,” said Maribel Lopez, principal analyst at Lopez Research. “It’s a matter of being able to run all the necessary business applications and services.”

Employees may like the tablet form factor, but they also need a device that will run business applications, according to O’Donnell.

“A tablet by itself isn’t compelling if I’m talking about Windows, but a tablet plus a keyboard gives me the flexibility to run the Windows apps like a notebook,” he said. “It fits in well with what people are used to. But we’re finding that those (companies) moving to tablets are moving maybe only 10 to 20 percent of the total number of apps that the individual (employee) needs while the other portion typically needs to run in a traditional Windows environment.”

“On the one hand, people are getting used to interacting with the tablet, but there’s also recognition that you can’t do everything on a tablet,” he said. “PCs are still actually better than tablets for a lot of different things, so it’s a question of balancing things.”

O’Donnell believes that achieve that balance, IT departments will need a new approach to managing enterprise technology.

Bob O'Donnell vice president of clients and displays at IDC research on tablets and enterprise IT

“Even though there’s been a lot of talk about only having one device, for a lot of people they’re actually happier with two devices. They want to have a tablet device and they want to have a PC device,” said Bob O’Donnell, vice president of clients and displays at IDC research.

“Rather than thinking about the physical devices, they (should) worry about the individuals and the data that they have access to,” said O’Donnell. “We’re going to see a revolution of IT over the next several years that acknowledges the fact that people have a lot of devices and that number will continue to go up.”

Tablets Take off in Construction, Retail

The industries that have been quickest to adopt tablets tend to be heavy users forms such as insurance, healthcare and government, but that may be changing according to Enderle.

“Moving much more slowly are those who are much more traditional where they’re mostly living off of Word, Office or engineering organizations where they’re not getting the performance out of the tablets that they need,” he said.

“Portable all-in-one computers and the new class of gaming tablets coming to market might have the performance needed for engineering apps that can be pen-enabled.”

Lopez saw first-hand how mobile technology is being used in the building industry when she visited several construction companies recently. She found that employees were using tablets in the field to track supply chains, look at diagrams and 3-D building images and print at job sites rather than going back to the office.

“One said that mobile is actually bringing them out of the dark ages,” said Lopez.

She said retail is another industry in which tablets or smartphones are helping employees be productive and provide better service.

“It’s really fundamentally changing the customer experience in retail because it allows people to stay with the customer at all points in time and give them exactly the information they need at the point of need,” she said.

BYOD Tablets Disrupt Enterprise IT?

Business managers dictating device decisions, flood of tablets force rethinking of enterprise IT say analysts.

Rob Enderle principal analyst at Enderle Group shares view on tablets and enterprise IT

“Today, line managers make the decisions as opposed to IT guys with regard to the technology that the user uses, and users have a great deal to say about the technology that drives line manager decisions,” said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at Enderle Group.

Spending on information technology is projected to decline overall this year, but tablet buyers are forecast to buck that trend and drop $23 billion more on the devices than last year. Many of those tablets will inevitably find their way into organizations on a BYOD basis, further eroding enterprise IT control over employee devices according to industry analysts.

In the past, enterprise IT departments purchased and managed PCs for employees. The BYOD trend has loosened IT’s grip and the pressure is coming not only from individual employees, but from line business managers, according to Rob Enderle, principal analyst at Enderle Group.

“Today, line managers make the decisions as opposed to IT guys with regard to the technology that the user uses, and users have a great deal to say about the technology that drives line manager decisions,” said Enderle. “IT is pretty much off balance at the moment. They don’t have a lot of say with regard to what’s brought in and they don’t have the resources to support everything, so we’re dealing with somewhat of a mess.”

Enderle said that while this is opening the door for more consumer devices inside workplaces, consumer devices are evolving rapidly with new categories and form factors.

“I’m one of those people who believe that tablets are going to get squeezed out of the middle as we go through this second half of the decade,” said Enderle. “But right now, a tablet fulfills that role between a smartphone that’s too small and a notebook computer that’s too large, heavy and expensive.”

Bob O’Donnell, vice president of clients and displays at IDC research, has a different view of tablets. He cites a recent research report that indicates tablets aren’t “tweener” devices for many people.

Maribel Lopez principal analyst at Lopez Research on tablets and enterprise IT

“They (tablets) are good at quick access to information, email and replacing paper, but they’re not replacing mainstream computing yet,” said Maribel Lopez, principal analyst at Lopez Research.

“About 50 percent said they bought their own tablet,” he said. “Even though there’s been a lot of talk about only having one device, for a lot of people they’re actually happier with two devices. They want to have a tablet device and they want to have a PC device.”

Are Tablets Built for the Enterprise?

A slower PC refresh rate in many enterprises has meant that many employees are using older and heavier laptops or even desktops. That’s helped fuel the BYOD trend as people bring tablets into work to augment their PC, particularly for doing things on the go.

“They (tablets) are good at quick access to information, email and replacing paper, but they’re not replacing mainstream computing yet,” said Maribel Lopez, principal analyst at Lopez Research. “It’s a matter of being able to run all the necessary business applications and services.”

Employees may like the tablet form factor, but they also need a device that will run business applications, according to O’Donnell.

“A tablet by itself isn’t compelling if I’m talking about Windows, but a tablet plus a keyboard gives me the flexibility to run the Windows apps like a notebook,” he said. “It fits in well with what people are used to. But we’re finding that those (companies) moving to tablets are moving maybe only 10 to 20 percent of the total number of apps that the individual (employee) needs while the other portion typically needs to run in a traditional Windows environment.”

“On the one hand, people are getting used to interacting with the tablet, but there’s also recognition that you can’t do everything on a tablet,” he said. “PCs are still actually better than tablets for a lot of different things, so it’s a question of balancing things.”

O’Donnell believes that achieve that balance, IT departments will need a new approach to managing enterprise technology.

Bob O'Donnell vice president of clients and displays at IDC research on tablets and enterprise IT

“Even though there’s been a lot of talk about only having one device, for a lot of people they’re actually happier with two devices. They want to have a tablet device and they want to have a PC device,” said Bob O’Donnell, vice president of clients and displays at IDC research.

“Rather than thinking about the physical devices, they (should) worry about the individuals and the data that they have access to,” said O’Donnell. “We’re going to see a revolution of IT over the next several years that acknowledges the fact that people have a lot of devices and that number will continue to go up.”

Tablets Take off in Construction, Retail

The industries that have been quickest to adopt tablets tend to be heavy users forms such as insurance, healthcare and government, but that may be changing according to Enderle.

“Moving much more slowly are those who are much more traditional where they’re mostly living off of Word, Office or engineering organizations where they’re not getting the performance out of the tablets that they need,” he said.

“Portable all-in-one computers and the new class of gaming tablets coming to market might have the performance needed for engineering apps that can be pen-enabled.”

Lopez saw first-hand how mobile technology is being used in the building industry when she visited several construction companies recently. She found that employees were using tablets in the field to track supply chains, look at diagrams and 3-D building images and print at job sites rather than going back to the office.

“One said that mobile is actually bringing them out of the dark ages,” said Lopez.

She said retail is another industry in which tablets or smartphones are helping employees be productive and provide better service.

“It’s really fundamentally changing the customer experience in retail because it allows people to stay with the customer at all points in time and give them exactly the information they need at the point of need,” she said.