Tablets continue to intrigue small businesses

Survey surprise as new data suggests tablets may already be more popular than notebook computers among small-business owners.

It is getting harder and harder to ignore the impact that tablet technology will have on small-business information technology priorities.

The latest data comes from Newtek Business Services, which just released some statistics suggesting that tablets are already more widely used than notebooks among independent business owners.

The research, which reflects the responses of 1,100 businesses (Newtek doesn't specify the size), found that 28 percent of them are already using a tablet, compared with 19 percent who are using notebook computers and 17 percent who are using desktop computers.

As far as future intentions, 55 percent of the respondents said they were open to "using a tablet in the future." Although I need to point out that number of people who said no to that idea wasn't exactly small at 45 percent.

As far as future purchases, the respondents were almost equally inclined to buy a notebook or a tablet. Approximately 45 percent said they planned to buy a tablet as their next technology purchase, while 41 percent planned to buy a notebook or laptop. The number planning to buy a desktop computer was pretty small, at 14 percent.

My gut tells me that most of the people who responded to this survey are actually using more than one of these devices in combination in order to get their jobs done.

But the point is that tablets continue to intrigue small-business owners, which means more attention needs to be paid to security, management, and data backup issues. This data is more evidence of that trend.