Cisco commissioned a survey 1500 IT managers and executives in the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany and Spain to assess attitudes, fears and hopes for tablets in the workplace.
Still a nascent market, 2012 is seen as a year in which enterprise-grade tablet computing will undergo significant change.
- Tablets vs. smartphones: which win? Globally, IT departments report employees place one tablet request for every three smartphone requests today.
- Which countries lead? Of the countries surveyed, the US and France are tied for tops—each report a tablet is requested by 21% of the workforce. Senior executives are most likely to be issued a tablet in the US (38%) and least likely to be issued one in the UK (27 percent)
- Who’s most excited? Spain tops the list, with 90% of IT managers believing the tablet will become more popular in the next two years.
- “Uber-connected sales guys”. Tablets are significantly more prevalent among salespeople in Germany (31%) than in all other countries (21% on average).
Fears and wants:
- Tops in security concerns? The U.S., the country with the most experience managing tablets, also ranks #1 on the “security issue”: 75% of US IT managers said new rules must be established around security and device usage.
- What about app access? Nearly half (48%) of all IT managers surveyed agree that access to company applications should be restricted for all employees. Canada and UK were the top countries in wanting to see restricted access on tablet form-factor devices (55% and 56 %, respectively).
- Custom apps? IT managers universally agree that custom tablet applications would benefit their business.
- Top “want list” features? Globally,three-quarters of IT managers indicated email and document sharing are “must haves”. About half agreed or strongly agreed that these are desirable: video conferencing, IM, access to company databases and seamless synchronization with other business devices.
- Turning a blind eye to BYOD. Globally, 48% said their company would never authorize employees to bring their own devices (BYOD), yet 57% agreed that some employees use personal devices without consent.
- 51% of the respondents reported the number of employees bringing their own devices to work is on the rise.
- Using personal devices without consent was highest in the US (64%) and lowest in Germany (49%).
- Access to company servers was highlighted as a “huge problem” of the “bring your own device” to work phenomena as was lost/stolen devices (64% globally).
- Globally, 44% say that handling BYOD issues diverts IT attention from other important projects.
Tom Puorro, director of product management, IPCBU, Cisco Systems, said: “Mobile workers and virtual workspaces are here to stay—but so are the demands on IT to continue to ensure enterprise-grade security, manageability and interoperability. 2012 promises to be an exciting year and IT leaders are a critical component in unleashing innovation and enabling organizations to take advantage of the next wave of business growth and opportunity. Cisco is keenly focused on helping its customers navigate the post-PC era and transform their business.”