Companies everywhere now have integrated tablets into their IT infrastructure. According to Gartner, it's estimated that tablet sales will be roughly parallel to PC sales by 2015. The opportunities today to increase productivity and monetize through mobility are exponential. Many enterprises, however, overlook fundamental steps while incorporating tablets into the workplace. Each enterprise's needs differ, but there are some key elements that are critical to any successful implementation.
Select your platform based on needs – To stay ahead of the curve, it's really important to pick a platform that is right for your company and focus on that rather than trying to support everything. There will always be new products but many of the features will not be critical for the enterprise to enable its workforce to be more productive. What is vital to succeed is enabling employees to collaborate. This is where picking an ecosystem becomes key. iOS to iOS or Android to Android works well but iOS to Android can cause problems.
Give employees options and flexibility – The adoption of tablets in the workplace can be overwhelming and some employees will find it hard to change their old ways. To overcome this challenge, give employees a choice. Highly mobile employees might want to swap size for weight and utilize a smartphone to work on-the-go while others might prefer a large tablet they can quickly turn into a mini-laptop. Within both the Android and iOS ecosystems there is a full range of choices; offering employees various options will accelerate adoption.
Don't forget your customer – BYOD is a challenge for enterprises today and providing tablets and other devices to the workforce can improve collaboration and productivity, but it is important also to see how these tools can propel customer service offerings. Companies that understand how to extend their business processes to their customers using the computing platform in their hands will be more successful and will build a stronger overall customer relationship.
Bring in the experts – Outsourcing IT development has been commonplace for decades. Today, however, in a world with such fast-paced technological innovation, companies are bringing in expert third-party consultants to look under the hood and help evaluate mobile options that will best improve productivity. These experts help to identify mobile solutions for a company's specific needs and often can provide a valuable outsider perspective. Leveraging consultants can help you to focus on the critical tasks such as defining the key features, performance requirements, and more, with your development partner focused on quickly bring this to your platform of choice.
Design in collaboration – Deploying services to a tablet can be a highly enriching experience for an enterprise but it can also bring frustration if users are not able to seamlessly interact with IT systems and each other. Often, during the application or service design phase, IT places significant focus on the device-to-cloud experience and significantly less on the device-to-device experience. When deploying tablets to employees, consider how your applications could leverage the built-in sharing technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC and how these could enrich collaboration and enable greater personal productivity.