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How Are Tablets Improving Workplace Productivity?

Commissioned by Dell, the 2014 International Tablet Survey of Information Technology Decision Makers (ITDMs) in 10 countries was conducted online by Harris Poll in 2014 and was designed to provide insights and feedback regarding tablet usage for workplace productivity. Survey results included policies, purchase habits, business impacts and challenges, comparison to other devices, and how well tablets met their expectations. Technology customers, business decision-makers, and IT managers globally can use the study from a global and regional perspective to help inform their IT strategies currently and in the future.

“How people work is changing – the days of going to a specific place to conduct business are fewer while more employees are on the move and require access to company information outside of the workplace,” said Boitumelo Kgonare, Client Product Marketing Manager at Dell South Africa. “The Dell 2014 International Tablet survey underscores the way in which tablets are addressing those needs for today’s worker, resulting in a desire by IT Decision Makers to deploy more tablets in the future.”

Dell 2014 International Tablet Survey Highlights

  • Tablets are a standard part of the IT offering: At least 9 in 10 ITDMs in all countries except Japan (83%), report that tablets are a standard part of their company‘s IT offering or currently under evaluation, and/or they allow employees to use their own tablet. Majorities in China (82%), UAE/Saudi Arabia (74%1), US (73%), Brazil (73%), UK (68%), France (61%), India (59%), and Russia (51%) say that it is a standard part of their IT device offering. More than half in Russia (58%), India (57%), China (52%), and US (51%) allow employees to use tablets purchased with their own money, while at least half in China (59%), US (53%) and India (50%) allow employees to use their own tablets purchased with the help of company funds.


  • Tablets are being met with favorable inputs from employees: in all countries except India (85%), at least 9 in 10 ITDMs whose company offers tablets as a standard offering received input from other employees in favor of using tablets prior to their company beginning use. In US (58%), UK (58%), India (56%1), Japan (56%1), Brazil (68%1), UAE/Saudi Arabia (63%), and South Africa (22 of 32 surveyed), this input was consistently in favor of tablet adoption. In all countries, majorities of ITDMs in organizations in which tablets are not offered or under evaluation report that they have received employee input in favor of using tablets for work.


  • The Android™ OS is the most frequently used operating system globally for tablets; Windows® and iOS™ also are widespread. While the use of Windows, iOS, and Android is prevalent across the countries surveyed, Android™ is the most frequently-named operating system in India (91%), Brazil (87%), Russia (87%), South Africa (26 of 32 surveyed1), China (79%), UAE/Saudi Arabia (79%), France (69%), and UK (69%). Meanwhile, Windows® takes the top spot in the US (72%) and iOS™ is tops in Japan (69%).


  • Tablet adoption has increased productivity: In most countries, a majority of ITDMs who acknowledge that tablet adoption has increased their company’s productivity say it has done so by making it easier to work while traveling, allowing better customer service, providing faster or more convenient access to information while out in the office or in the field, or allowing real-time entry of information to reduce duplicated work. In India (58%) and Brazil (61%), a majority estimates it to be at least a 25% increase in productivity, while in the US (60%) and UK (53%), majorities place this figure at a 20% increase or more. A 15% or higher increase in productivity has been seen by a majority of ITDMs in China (62%), while in France (73%) a majority estimate at least a 10% increase.


  • Tablets are meeting and exceeding expectations: For 9 of the 10 countries – US (61%), UK (59%), India (60%), Japan (75%), China (77%), Brazil (66%), France (77%), Russia (81%), and South Africa (20 of 32 surveyed) – majorities of ITDMs whose company offers tablets as a standard offering report that tablets have met the expectations their company had for them; in most of these countries a sizeable percentage report that tablets have exceeded their expectations. Notably, in UAE/Saudi Arabia, a near majority (46%) say that tablets have exceeded expectations, yet a quarter (26%) say that tablets have fallen short of expectations.


  • ITDMs plan to deploy more tablets: In the US (65%), UK (49%), India (69%1), Japan (52%), China (76%), Brazil (67%), France (49%), Russia (65%), and South Africa (25 of 32 surveyed), majorities or near-majorities of ITDMs whose company offers tablets as a standard offering say that their companies plan to deploy more tablets into their workforce in the future. In UAE/Saudi Arabia, a majority of ITDMs report that their companies plan to keep the number they have now (58%), with about a third saying that they will deploy more tablets (32%).


  • Security is a top concern: Among ITDMs at organizations not currently offering or evaluating the use of tablets, a majority in the US (54%), India (67%), Japan (51%), China (15 of 28 surveyed), and France (53%) cite data security or other security concerns (e.g., loss, theft) as reasons for not deploying tablets. Twenty-one of 48 surveyed in the UK and 42% in Russia mention this as a concern. In each of these countries, data security is the top reason mentioned. However, in Brazil (23 of 63 surveyed) and UAE/Saudi Arabia (9 of 20 surveyed) the top reason is insufficient storage capacity, and in South Africa it is the risk of loss or damage (22 of 45 surveyed). The loss of devices leading to data loss is also a top security challenge, cited by a majority of ITDMs in nine out of the 10 countries (except UAE/ Saudi Arabia). In addition to device loss, a majority of ITDMs in the US, India, Japan, China, and South Africa also consider threats, breaches of company policies, and compliance and regulatory challenges to be a security challenge posed by tablet devices.


  • To help combat the IT managers’ security concerns, Dell’s Enterprise Mobile Management solutions for both corporate-managed and BYOD tablets allow encryption, policy management and data loss protection through a simple-to-download app. With many employees now using numerous devices to access corporate information, managing all of the additional tablets, cell phones and laptops has become an unwieldy task for the IT manager. By changing the focus to policy-driven access to applications and content both inside and outside the enterprise, companies are able to more effectively establish a governance model for how employees gain access to corporate information in any given scenario. Using EMM, IT Managers are able to determine, for example, whether employees are able to access documents based on role, location, and device, helping to secure corporate information without increasing their administrative burden.


  • “Dell has the tools to solve the customer pain points around security, by securing apps and data in a secure, manageable and reliable way,” said Hand. “The ability to remote wipe a device, or fully encrypt all the content from a single location should provide a sense of comfort to IT managers everywhere that data loss, viruses, and other threats can be efficiently dealt with should they occur.”


  • The 2014 International Tablet Survey conducted by Harris Poll and sponsored by Dell, surveyed IT Decision Makers (ITDMs) in 10 countries: U.S, U.K., India, Japan, China, Brazil, France, Russia, UAE/Saudi Arabia, and South Africa. The purpose of this study was to gain insight and feedback from the ITDMs in these countries regarding their tablet usage, specifically: their policies toward the use of tablets in their company, their tablet purchase habits for their company, the impact of tablets on their company in terms of benefits and challenges, their views on tablets vs. desktops, laptops and smartphones, and how well tablets met their expectations.
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