My Office is My Home and on My Tablet
Minhaj Zia, Director, Collaboration Sales, Cisco India & SAARC
Like most other businessmen of his time, Mr Kumar remained connected to his laptop while at work, at home, even on travel. The fact that his job was more 'sales' focused and business took him across geographies meant that the need to be connected was paramount. Today, three years down the line, Mr Kumar no longer lugs around with his laptop and charger. His Apple iPad does most of the work his notebook did. While he still retains his notebook, the need to use it has reduced considerably thanks to the iPad.
With multiple benefits that include large screens, absence of bulky keyboards, software to maximize battery life and the ability to connect to the Internet easily, devices like the iPad have taken mobility to an entirely new level. Across the world Tablet sales and adoption are being driven by the demands of today's consumers and enterprises for real-time access to information, while on the go, from anywhere and through any device irrespective of physical location. Whether it is on the personal or professional front, the need to be mobile has become supreme and the communications revolution has created an incredibly interconnected market place.
Statistics indicate that by 2015, Tablet computers could well account for around 6% of all web traffic. Infinite Research expects that 147.2 million Tablet computers will ship in 2015. This means that the paradigm of work being centred on the desktop is changing rapidly. In fact 2011 represented a tipping point, causing some analysts to proclaim that, "The era of the PC was over." Some of the trends driving the rapid adoption of Tablets are:
Mobility: Today's new workspace is becoming a platform for increased communication and collaboration. Most employees now believe they do not have to be in an office to be productive. Experts predicted that by 2012, mobile users will make up 73 percent of the enterprise workforce. By 2013, 80 percent of businesses will support a workforce using Tablets.
Consumerization of IT: The recent times have witnessed a rapid adoption of mobile devices like Smartphones and Tablets in the consumer market. As consumers make these devices the centre of their personal lives, they are increasingly bringing these devices into the workplace.
Social Networking: The new workplace is increasingly becoming social in nature. A new generation of workers grown up using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, wikis expects to be able to use these same tools or their equivalents in the workplace, through their device of choice like Smartphones and Tablets.
Video: Visual by design, the new workplace explores the richness of technologies like video to enable communication across geographic and organizational boundaries in a more personal way. Cisco predicts that by 2013, 90 percent of traffic on networks will be video. Tablets lend themselves easily to video communication and are expected to usher in a new wave of collaboration, improve service and save costs.
Cloud: The new workplace is increasingly becoming 'virtual'. Applications, data, and operating systems can be securely and reliably delivered using 'cloud' architectures through intelligent networks that connect the many devices people use. The ability to take advantage of cloud architectures for email, instant messaging, video and web conferencing is helping organizations to enable remote and distant workforces more efficiently.
By end of 2012, 40 percent of businesses worldwide are expected to communicate using cloud-based services. Adoption of cloud computing will signify a trend toward the Tablet because an increasing number of businesses are actively or strategically planning to migrate some or all of their communications capabilities to the cloud.
As the new workspace becomes a user-centric communications and collaboration experience, Tablets promise to put the 'personal' back into computing and allow consumers to access a sea of data, pick the relevant parts, work on it when and how they deem fit. Innovative apps, the expanse of the Web, and cloud computing make this experience seamless.
Connected devices beyond the PC will increasingly come tuned for a broad variety of communications in future. With consumers increasingly using devices like Tablets to access a variety of data, services, music, high definition video, and social networking, content developers will be prompted to create better quality content because they will see more users ready to pay for them. An ever growing sea of apps will make this possible.
Enterprises will also see a variety of use for Tablets - facilitating remote work, sales support, and customer interactions-in the office, around campus and off campus. Medical establishments will use Tablets to enable doctors securely create and access patient data, FMCG companies to compare purchasing patterns, and restaurants to create a better dining experience, substantially upping the oomph factor.
Tablet device sales is forecast to eclipse desktop sales by 2015. It comes as no surprise then that Gartner recently slashed its forecast for the growth of PCs from 9.8% to 3.8% and predicted that Tablet computers will see an explosion in sales, selling 60% as many units as PCs by 2015.
With cloud-based computing models growing at a rapid rate, it easy to foresee a post-PC world where Tablet devices blur the lines between personal and professional lives and become omnipresent. The costs will also come down in time and reach a sweet spot that Indian customers will buy into. As more organizations jump on the Tablet bandwagon, lighter, sleeker, personal, and more interactive devices will provide computing the much overdue makeover!