Small businesses want tablets

By Adam Weinroth

According to a recent Spiceworks Voice-of-IT study, small businesses are quickly gravitating toward the use of tablets in the workplace. In fact, 62% state that they plan to be using tablets for business by August 2012. And what brand of tablet will these companies purchase? The iPad topped the list with 61% of those planning to purchase choosing this brand.

What are they replacing?

Interestingly, more than two-thirds of respondents state that the tablets they purchase will be an addition to the many devices their employees already use. Another 20% plan to use tablets to replace existing laptops.

This difference among usage of tablets reflects the sentiment of some of the Spiceworks IT professionals who recently posted on this topic in the Spiceworks Community Tablets Group:

“I think we are going to see a divide between content creators and content consumers. For the people who focus on consuming content on their device, a tablet or smartphone is an ideal device. Simple, focused, portable. However for people who are creating content the added flexibility and power of a full computer be it desktop or laptop makes the process much easier.” – Justin Davidson, March 2012

“What I predict is that our smartphones/tablets will become our personal computers (PC). They will soon be powerful enough to rival the power found in desktops. They are already powerful enough to do 80% of the tasks that businesses ask desktops to do now.” – Ken Eisman, March 2012.

What do SMB’s like about tablets?

The respondents surveyed were asked to select the features that are most important when choosing a new tablet and “ease of use for the interface” and “battery life” of the device tied for top position.

Other features that respondents noted as important include the weight, size and portability of the device, as well as, the availability of “apps” and connectivity capabilities.

The data from this study reflects a growing trend we see across industries due to an increasingly on-the-go workforce that requires access to work information at anytime, anywhere. For SMBs, this desire for information at their fingertips comes with the territory, since many are responsible for keeping their operations running smoothly on a 24/7 basis.

Note

The data in this article is based on recent research from The Spiceworks Voice of IT® market research program, which publishes stats, trends, opinions collected from small and mid-sized business technology professionals who are among the more than 1.85 million users of the Spiceworks. This recent research on tablets included more than 300 respondents from North America and EMEA.

About the author

Adam Weinroth is the executive director of vendor marketing for Spiceworks, a social business network for IT, which is transforming how $1 trillion worth of technology products and services is managed, marketed and sold each year in the small and mid-sized business (SME) market. In his role, Adam support technology brands capitalising on their social business strategies. Prior to joining Spiceworks, Adam served as vice president of strategic marketing at Demand Media (NYSE:DMD), a leading content and social media company that informs and entertains one of the Internet’s largest audiences.

Twitter: @Spiceworks

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