Research: Only 5 percent of companies prohibit tablet use

Research: Only 5 percent of companies prohibit tablet use

Summary: The acceptance of tablets in the workplace continues to increase, with a Tech Pro Research survey showing that only 5 percent of companies actually prohibit their use.

tablet business use

Tablet use in the workplace is ever-increasing, showing how quickly companies are evolving to meet new trends. Employees with always-on connectivity and instant access to information are more committed and productive, as their toolsets become more specialized. With the use of tablets and other mobile devices, an office is far more than just four walls and a ceiling: it can be anywhere from a park bench to a beach or a dining-room table, depending on where the employee is located and which day it is.

As computing hardware has evolved it has become smaller and more portable. No longer are employees performing their jobs exclusively on clunky desktop systems with hefty monitors, nor have they been limited to laptop computers and associated gear such as power cables or mice. Smartphones are helping to get the job done, but limitations in screen size and application capabilities can be an impediment, since reviewing a detailed spreadsheet on a smartphone screen is hardly anyone's favorite task.

Enter the perfect compromise between a tiny smartphone and a bulky laptop: the tablet computer, a flat touchscreen-driven device that can perform an array of tasks such as email, web browsing, communication and more. With screens that can range from seven to twelve inches, storage capacity and processor speeds that compare to desktop computers, and easy-to-use operating systems, tablets are proving a major asset for workers and consumers alike. Application stores and cloud storage providers are helping to pave the way towards a consistent and predictable tablet environment where users have seamless access to the programs and data they need.

According to ABI Research, at the close of 2013, more than 285 million 'big brand' tablets such as Apple or Samsung were in use worldwide. Approximately a quarter of those tablets are in the United States. Forrester Research predicts that 375 million tablets will be in the hands of users by the end of 2016, and that more than half will run the Apple iOS.

Use of tablets in the workplace

This is the era of mobility and it's evident in the results of a survey from Tech Pro Research, ZDNet's premium subscriber sister site. The survey attracted 203 respondents from around the globe, and it touched upon topics including:

  • Advantages of tablets vs. PCs
  • Advantages of PCs vs. tablets
  • Impact of tablet usage
  • Useful tablet functions
  • Departments benefiting from tablet usage
  • Tablet usage by region and company size

Download the full Tech Pro Research report, Research: The impact of tablets in the workplace

In the survey, which was conducted in late January and early February, more than half of respondents said their organizations are buying tablets and providing them to employees. All told, 59 percent of employers supported tablets. However, another 25 percent said they had no official tablet policy, so they are neither allowed nor prohibited. Only 5 percent said that tablets are specifically prohibited from use.

tablet use in office

Preferred tablet vendors

Which vendors are preferred? The responses to this question indicate an overwhelming preference for Apple products, which are in use at nearly half of all organizations. Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet also showed up well. However, Android tablets shouldn't be counted out. The fragmentation of the Android market across multiple vendors means no single manufacturer in this field came out strongly ahead, but over a fifth of respondents favored Samsung and Google, two Android leaders. The lesser-known tablet vendors such as Acer, Asus, and LG had zero usage in this survey, showing that the big names are the ones leading the pack at the moment.

preferred vendors for tablets


The future of tablets

The survey reveals that tablet use in the workplace is still new, with many opportunities and options still available. The survey revealed that tablets are performing many of the same functions as PCs and this is helping to spur their popularity.

To read more on the subject, download the full Tech Pro Research report Research: The impact of tablets in the workplace. The report is free to all Tech Pro Research subscribers.

TechRepublic, which is ZDNet's sister site, and its premium site Tech Pro Research, provide information that IT leaders need to solve today's toughest IT problems and make informed decisions. Visit Tech Pro Research for information on becoming a member.


Topics: Tablets: Where's the Productivity?, Tablets

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Skew

    Windows tablets add up to more than 20% of respondents, which is not representative of market share. Hopefully this is explained in the report.
    • That's because non business people didn't take the survey

      This is about companies' tablet usage, not school kids or the casual home user.
  • What about lunch time?

    Every company has lunch breaks where you can play games on your tablet. When its work time get back to a real PC.
    Sean Foley
  • Surface is the best of three worlds - tablet, laptop and desktop!

    Surface Pro since it was released. When I first got it, I was very skeptical. I was pleasantly surprised at the build and quality of the Pros. I have stopped buying laptops for my company and instead am slowly replacing them with Pros. Pro/OneNote is a killer for a professional and a student!
  • Which tab is best?

    My kids gave me a Dell Venue 11 Pro for xmas 2013 with win 8.1. Don't know why I never see much if anything about it on these reports, however except for the small type that I can stretch to see, I really like it. Took me a while to get out of the Win 7 ingrained motions I learned but the tablet has proven to be equal with the huge desktop machine (I built) with the 24" monitor with the exception of the large screen. When I NEED a large screen I just plug in the cord for the HDMI output from the Dell to the 24" ASUS and turn on the BT keyboard and the mouse and off I go. There may be many highly tech things that I don't use that would limit some executive or pc geek, don't know. But the Dell tab for me is awesome. I also have a Samsung Note 8 android tab that is my carry around toy and it performs rock solid and lasts for a couple days or more for me. Look around guys, theres more out there besides apple cores.