A recent survey on tablets in the enterprise has produced two surprising statistics. The first is that businesses have already begun adopting tablets, especially the AppleiPad, and a majority of businesses across the board plan to deploy tablets in the next couple of years. The second revelation of the study is that many businesses lack a clear strategy for dealing with the devices.

Tablets Running Rampant

Dimensional Research, on behalf of Model Metrics, surveyed 448 business stakeholders and ITprofessionals in April, with a goal to “gather data about plans for adoption of iPads or other tablets within the enterprise.” The adoption has already begun in earnest, with 22% of companies already having formally deployed the iPad or some other tablet, and with 78% of survey responders saying that they “plan to have tablets deployed by the end of 2013.”

The study also showed that even in companies where tablets had not yet been formally introduced the devices still had a strong presence. 72% of companies had tablets in use, but without any formal deployment.

Where to Go From Here?

Most of these companies have started (or plan to start) driving without a roadmap. 51% of survey respondents said they had “no clearly articulated strategy for adopting iPads and tablets.” The survey also shows that 49% of tablets are initially purchased by C-level executives, leaving IT to find a purpose for devices they were bringing onboard.

There is also a disconnect between IT and management on the logistics of deployment. 42% of “IT users say their business stakeholders do not understand the need for additional development to enable enterprise applications on iPads and [other] tablets.”

iPad Biggest in Business

The iPad was far and away the most popular tablet amongst survey responders, with 83% of participants saying that it was the tablet they planned to deploy. The BlackBerry PlayBook came in a distant second at 19%, with the HP Slate 500 following at 14% and the Motorola Xoom and Dell Streak coming in at 13% and 11%, respectively. Other tablets mentioned include the Samsung Galaxy Tab, ASUS Eee Slate EP121.

While 53% of people surveyed said that they chose the iPad for its availability of productivity tools, 35% also said they made the choice based on “cool” factor.

The Man with the Plan

TabletPCReview spoke with David Dahlberg, Chief Marketing Officer at Model Metrics, who shared some insights on the study and market.

We asked Dahlberg if Model Metrics had seen any adoption cases that made a compelling argument for tablets in the enterprise. He replied that he had seen customers employ the iPad very successfully as a “digital sales aid,” and tied this together with the “cool” factor mentioned before: “There’s this added factor of wow that’s pretty cool, OK I’ll listen to you for a minute.”

He said that for one Model Metrics’ customer “their average meeting time went from thirty seconds to a minute literally overnight.”

Aside from the possible use cases for tablets in the enterprise, Dahlberg also commented on the state of Android vs. iPad for market share, especially in the enterprise. He said “Android tablets, as a general rule, are catching up.”

Dahlberg gave a rallying cry in support of tablets near the end of our interview, proclaiming: “If you have a field sales organization, there is a use case for helping them operate mobilely.”

Source: Model Metrics

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