Almost 9 Million Tablets Being Used by SMBs

By Lance Whitney June 07, 2011

A total of 8.87 million tablets are in use among small and mid-sized businesses in the U.S., according to a new study from Techaisle.

Polling 1,356 different businesses, TechAisle found that more than 1 in 3 of them have at least one tablet. Half of the tablets were bought by the users themselves rather than their employers but are being used for business reasons. And at this point, 48 percent of the companies surveyed have already set up a policy regarding the use of tablets on the job with the rest without a formal policy.

The Apple iPad is the dominant tablet among SMBs, though some of the larger companies are now starting to adopt some of the Android tablets hitting the market. For now, most of the companies are using the iPad and other tablets for basic functions, such as e-mail, Internet browsing, and certain mobile apps. But many of them have plans to use the tablets for other reasons, including sales demos, presentations, and web conferencing.

Tablets are currently most popular among the bosses and top executives, according to TechAisle. Some of the companies polled said they’d like to expand their use among a greater range of employees, but first will need to factor in the tablet prices themselves and the number of available apps that can actually support the business.

Those hesitant to adopt tablets within their organizations cite such reasons as security, lack of physical keyboards, and compatibility issues.

A majority of 71 percent of the companies are using tablets as an extra device rather than a replacement for an existing PC. Some of the larger businesses polled are potentially looking to replace notebooks with tablets. However, lighter notebooks with good battery life and instant-on capabilities would be less of a target for replacement.

TechAisle’s study follows another recent report from RingCentral that also noted greater tablet use among SMBs. With demand for and reliance on tablets rising among employees, especially top-level executives, IT departments who don’t yet have a policy for supporting and securing such devices will increasingly need to focus on this area.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.

Lance Whitney is a journalist, IT consultant, and Web Developer with almost 20 years of experience in the IT world. To read more of Lance's articles, please visit his columnist page

Edited by Jennifer Russell

Journalist, IT Consultant, Web Developer

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