Growing tablet use at home means growing tablet use at work. A Cisco survey of global IT managers found tablet use is up, but policies are still uncertain.
use is on the rise, and a recent Cisco survey sought to gauge the effect of
these devices as they make their way into the enterprise, by both sanctioned
means and otherwise.
for tablets within the enterprise are significant-on average, one tablet is
requested for every three smartphones-according to the Cisco poll of 1,500
decision-making IT workers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom,
France, Germany and Spain, conducted in late 2011.
percent, workers in the United States and France are asking for them the most,
though U.S. IT managers, at 38 percent, are most likely to issue them. Least
likely to dole out the devices, at 27 percent, are managers in the U.K.
are a strong niche for tablets, in Germany more so than elsewhere, with 31
percent of German salesforces using the devices, versus the global average of
however, appears poised for the highest growth, Cisco said in a statement on
the survey, "with 90 percent of IT managers believing the tablet will
become more popular in the next two years."
growing bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend is causing greater security
concerns, according to many IT managers. BYOD, along with access to company
servers and lost or stolen devices, was named among managers' most-pressing
BYOD trend presents benefits and challenges for businesses. Companies save
money when employees use their own devices for work rather than having to use
company-bought technology, and it also can improve productivity. The challenge
comes when trying to protect the company's network and data when employees need
access from their privately owned devices.
IT managers seem the most inclined to put their concerns into action, with 75
percent believing that "new rules must be established around security and
half of all those surveyed agreed that company applications should be
restricted, and nearly all agreed that custom tablet apps would be good for
business. Managers in Canada and the United Kingdom, at 55 percent and 56
percent, respectively, felt the strongest about wanting access to applications
on tablets to be restricted.
the security issues prompted by BYOD, managers, the survey found, are largely
ignoring the issue.
48 percent said their company would never authorize employees to bring their
own devices," Cisco said in the statement, "yet 57 percent agreed
that some employees use personal devices without consent."
rule breakers are most prevalent in the United States-64 percent were said to
be bringing in devices without consent-while in Germany, at 49 percent, the
issue was most contained.
BYOD issues press on businesses' bottom lines, as globally 44 percent of
managers said that BYOD issues divert the attention of IT staff from other
tablets aren't seen as all bad, as 75 percent of managers, when pressed for a
wish list, named email and document sharing as "must haves" and
nearly half agreed that video conferencing, instant messaging, access to
company databases and seamless synchronization with other devices are
Pew Internet Project recently
reported that ownership of tablets among U.S. adults nearly doubled between
just mid-December 2011 and early January-from 10 percent to 19
percent-suggesting IT managers, even more so than during the Cisco survey
period, have their work cut out for them.
Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.