Deloitte claims businesses will account for 25 percent of total tablets purchased in 2011 despite the fact that the market Apple's iPad forged is so young and immature.
More than 25 percent of all tablet computers will be
purchased by enterprises, an incredible figure for a market that only
established credibility with Apple's successful launch of its iPad last April.
Deloitte, a consultancy that released its annual
Jan. 18, also predicts that one-quarter figure could well rise in
2012 and beyond as corporations begin to realize the tablet dwarfs the laptop
in portable PC capability.
"Although some commentators view tablets as
underpowered media-consumption toys suitable only for consumers, more than ten
million of the devices will likely be purchased by enterprises in 2011,"
according to the Deloitte report.
For perspective, IDC said
the computing industry will ship nearly 45 million tablets in 2011. Deloitte
offered four reasons for the corporate tablet surge this year.
First is the consumerization of IT. Knowledge workers buy
tablets for their personal use, and then realize the gadgets work well for
their daily work tasks. On a Web-connected tablet, the corporate worker can
easily transition from playing music, watching movies or playing games to
checking enterprise e-mail and applications.
Second, some retail, manufacturing and health care
industries are testing tablet use for their employees. Deloitte thinks 5
million tablets could be deployed in retail and health care alone this year.
Third, Deloitte believes enterprise software providers
are receiving requests for iPad apps and other tablet-tailored programs. The
firm said large players in ERP, ECM, CRM -- think Oracle, Salesforce.com, SAP
and Microsoft -- are writing secure apps that can be provisioned across an
Fourth and finally, the tablet form factor is driving
adoption in the boardroom; it's relative flatness makes for an unobtrusive computing
What devices and operating systems will be used? Deloitte
said 70 to 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies will support at least one tablet
variant for some portion of their work force. Enterprise IT departments have
strong preferences for certain operating systems.
This means OS market shares in enterprise tablets might
closely mirror OS market shares in smartphones and PCs. So the enterprise will
see millions of iPads and Android tablets, and everything else.
Naturally, the iPad
is the tablet category firestarter.
IDC, which said iPad captured nearly 90 percent of the 17-million-unit tablet
market, expects the iPad to continue to rule for the next couple years.
Android tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab are
certainly an option, though the smaller 7-inch screen and dated Android 2.2 OS
build make it less than optimal for the traveling sales worker who wants to do
video conferencing and make sure all of their apps fit on the screen
Expect the Motorola Xoom
, Toshiba tablet and other tablets
running Android 3.0 to fill those needs in the coming months.
, with its BlackBerry tethering and
enterprise-grade security trust, will be a powerful option when it launches
this spring. Microsoft Windows 7 and HP webOS tablets will sell given those
companies collective enterprise cachet.
Enterprises are faced with a serious quandary. Do they support
multiple types of tablets, which makes workers happy but incurs greater support
costs, or standardize on a single type?