IT mobility began as a trend for personal use. However, business owners and executives in all industries have come to recognize the benefit IT mobility brings to the table; and for some it’s become a necessity.
Small businesses all over the world have reshaped their business models to include the use of IT mobile devices like Tablet PCs to enable their employees to access information and communicate effectively from remote sites. However, some question whether providing Tablet PCs enhances employee productivity or actually has a disruptive impact on their work performance.
Tablet PCs Aren’t Portable Computers
Tablet PCs differ considerably from Laptop PCs in a number of ways: in the user interface, operating system, processor, and applications that can be used. Tablet architecture is really more similar to that of smartphones. Smartphones and laptop computers have had an overall positive impact on employee productivity, communications and accessibility to information.
What Should I Consider Before Purchasing Tablet PCs For My Employees?
Every business is different, with its own infrastructure, strategies and objectives. So today’s business owner or executive needs to carefully assess what the pros and cons are when it comes to using Tablet PCs and mobile devices. Some of the questions to ask might be:
Why Should My Employees Use Tablet PCs?
To maintain a competitive edge and boost productivity, for some business owners and executives, allowing employees to use Tablet PCs is crucial. A Tablets@Work Poll was conducted by technology solutions provider CDW, where they surveyed 610 professionals from varying industries. They found that 84% of the respondents who used Tablet PCs for work said that it improved their multitasking capabilities. Employees who were polled typically spent at least two hours a day on their Tablet PCs.
The Tablets@Work poll also revealed that the use of Tablet PCs in the workplace is steadily increasing, with 59% of employees using personally owned mobile devices, and 34% using company-owned mobile devices. These results amplify the results found on CDW’s recent Small Business Mobility Report which concluded that 94% of small business mobile device users said that mobile technology increases their efficiency.
What Features Do My Employees Need In A Tablet PC?
According to the Tablets@Work Poll employees identified multiple various features and functionalities on their ideal “Tablet PC wish list.” Respondents’ top three must-have features included e-mail, web browsing and a long battery life. This strongly indicates that functionality takes the lead when executing tasks on a Tablet PC.
Preparation Equates To Smooth Mobile Integration
Incorporating Tablet PCs into the workplace takes preparation and thought to get the return on investment you’re looking for. Consider the following before running out to buy a truckload of Tablet PCs:
1. Don’t Take on More Than You Can Handle
It’s important to have realistic goals that are specifically designed for your unique business needs. What’s your overall goal? Are you aiming to increase productivity and efficiency through the use of Tablet PCs?
Take a step-by-step approach. You might consider a pilot program, providing Tablet PCs to small groups of employees within separate departments. This will help you determine which feature sets are most useful to your employees. Feature sets might include industry-specific applications, longer battery life, durability and applications or Web browsing capabilities that support document development. Getting on board with mobility requires research to learn how Tablet PCs can help improve your productivity and profitability.
2. Develop a Mobile Device Management (MDM) Plan
A good MDM plan will help you incorporate software with security management and policy capabilities across all platforms in your operating systems. It’s crucial to have a plan in place while incorporating mobility into the workplaces so you can set boundaries and parameters for your employees when they use mobile devices. An MDM Plan will help as long as you’re sure to include policy and inventory application management along with security management.
3. Security is Essential
When incorporating mobile devices into your workplace, never overlook the importance of implementing a layered security system. Unwanted users and/or wireless connections can easily become a security threat, and you may be liable for data breaches if you’re not careful.
It’s essential to incorporate and customize user privileges for various employee groups and guests using a Network Access Control (NAC). This will give IT Managers much better security control. And, it’s important to equip all Tablet PCs and mobile devices with a strong security system, complete with encryption, password protection and multi-factor authentication.
If this all sounds confusing, don’t worried. A qualified IT Managed Service Provider like ours can help you develop an MDM plan and sort this out for you!
Mobile technology has become an essential tool for many small businesses and if used correctly will increase employees’ overall productivity, efficiency and agility. And in the long term, increase your profitability.
Published On: 30th April 2013 by Ernie Sherman.