Tablets play a key part in digital transformation with hybrids meeting new productivity needs, says latest IDC tablet study


Nov 13, 2016

LONDON, November 14, 2016 — According to International Data Corporation's (IDC) latest study, tablets are among the top IT spending priorities for 2017 in European enterprises, with sectors such as education, hospitality, government, and transport ranking them among their top 3 priorities.

Based on 1,500 interviews with IT and LOB decision makers in 10 vertical sectors across the U.K., France, Germany, and Sweden, IDC's Tablet in Enterprise 2.0 — The Large Opportunity study reveals that tablets are part and parcel of the mobility strategy of 60% of companies, with over two-thirds evaluating or planning to purchase slate or detachable devices in the short term, contributing to a significant increase in tablet penetration over the next three years.

The study confirms that tablet adoption continues to expand in terms of users and new usage scenarios. From highly mobile employees using detachable devices to perform productivity tasks no matter where they are, to customer-facing staff using tablets to take customers' orders or their esignatures, tablets have become a business computing device in their own right among European companies.

The study, which analyzes businesses' device strategies and requirements in terms of hardware and software, delves into the dynamics between PCs, tablets, smartphones, and phablets, as well as new technologies such as wearables, and evaluates the opportunities that evolving IT technologies offer to companies as they transform their workplace.

According to the survey's findings, European enterprises are maturing in their approach to tablet deployments and have started to focus more on applications and business outcomes, with deployments driven by the desire to increase employees' productivity, working flexibility, and collaboration, as well as by enterprises' digital and workspace transformation strategies.

"As mobility and digital transformation strategies drive the mobilization of specific industry applications," says Marta Fiorentini, research manager, IDC EMEA Personal Computing, "companies continue to look at tablets to harness the benefits of mobile data-enabled workers, support new digital business processes, and maximize engagement with always-connected customers. Hardware is still important but applications have become crucial and a key differentiator to achieve the business objectives behind tablet deployments."

The study also shows that although the rising popularity of touch input continues to support demand for slate tablets, purchase intentions among the companies surveyed show a strong interest in hybrids (which include detachables and convertibles) driven by the productivity and content creation needs of an increasingly mobile workforce. Hybrid devices are therefore anticipated to account for over half of the tablets that companies in the sample intend to purchase in the next few years, confirming the upward trajectory that IDC has observed in the market (see Consolidated Expansion of New Form Factors Predicted in the Second Half of 2016 and Beyond, says IDC ).

Enterprises' Tablet Purchase Intentions in 2016 and 2017 by Form Factor

Figure 1

Source: Tablets in Enterprise 2.0: The Larger Opportunity, IDC, September 2016

IDC's European multiclient study Tablets in Enterprise 2.0: The Larger Opportunity is based on 1,500 interviews conducted with companies' IT decision makers and lines of business by vertical sector across small, medium, and large businesses in the U.K., France, Germany, and Sweden. Key vertical sectors include transport, retail, hospitality, and healthcare. The study assess the new opportunities created by the accelerated mobile apps, hardware, and software developments, and their impact on businesses' plans and requirements as they continue to transform their workplace. The study includes an in-depth analysis of the opportunity that tablets offer to manufacturers, application developers, and service companies, covering detailed assessment of current commercial tablet deployment across 10 vertical sectors, their different requirements, and future purchase intentions in terms of product specifications, usage, and application development and management requirements. The study covers the entire tablet devices product spectrum, from tablet slates to hybrid devices, including detachables and convertibles.

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