The Business Case for Tablet PCs

Before adopting tablets, All Covered recommends that your company has a clearly defined business case for adopting them.

March 12, 2012 by Alex Collins, IT Services Consultant

An already noticeable trend for 2012 is entry of the tablet PC into the workplace. Previously, tablets were typically used by consumers for entertainment purposes due to their limited processing power, RAM, and storage space, but as business-centric Web 2.0 applications develop, those limitations are no longer a problem for many businesses and a business case can be made for adoption of this mobile technology.

Reasons to adopt tablets

Tablets can be a great addition to your business' repertoire of technology solutions. Before adopting tablets, All Covered recommends that your company has a clearly defined business case for adopting them. Good reasons to adopt tablets include the following:
  • Increased employee productivity - The portable size of tablets, coupled with longer battery life, and Web 2.0 applications make it easy for employees to work anywhere they have access to Wi-Fi.
  • Reduced upfront investments - Tablets are more affordable than laptop and PCs—combine that with affordable Web 2.0 services such as Microsoft Office 365 and you've got a much smaller initial investment for the same services that your company already uses.
  • Increased employee morale - It may be surprising, but employees that have access to updated technology are happier and more productive.

Things to consider

Once you've determined that adopting tablets will meet your business needs, All Covered recommends that you take the time to assess your IT environment to ensure that it can support the tablets. At the very least, your business should have the following in place: Optimized wireless network - The wireless network needs to be optimized for mobile devices. Consider the following to determine if your business needs technology upgrades to support tablets:
  • Wireless routers need to transmit signals powerful enough to support large numbers of wireless devices.
  • DHCP server configurations will need to be modified to distribute and manage IP addresses for all business systems and tablets.
Storage and backups - Your business' servers will need more storage space to store data that used to keep on laptops and PCs. Also remember that backups need to be optimized to ensure that data is duplicated.
  • Tablets have limited physical storage space because they are designed to work with Web 2.0 applications. This means that your servers will need to have space to store data that used to be stored locally. To avoid costly investments in new hardware, consider cloud server solutions.
  • Data needs to be backed up. Because data is not stored locally on tablets, your business needs to ensure that it is stored on a server that is regularly backed up. Remember that catastrophic data loss is a possibility any time data is stored in only one location. To protect your data, schedule more frequent backups.
Security - Your company's IT infrastructure and data must be protected at all times. Ensure that the appropriate controls are in place to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data and systems. This can be done through a combination of end-user controls and hardware. All Covered recommends that you consider the following:
  • Acceptable Usage Policy - Your business needs to have a policy that identifies what actions are allowed and prohibited on the company network. Your policy should, at the least, define how and when company resources can be accessed, where data should be stored, and the types of websites and Web 2.0 applications that may be used with tablets.
  • Firewall - This device is the first and most important layer of protection between your IT network and the outside world.Make sure that it can properly filter Web 2.0 data packets. Additionally, remember that many firewalls have limits to the number of wireless device connections that they can support.

Learn more

To learn more about using tablets in the workplace, or to schedule an assessment or network upgrade to support tablets, please contact the mobility experts at All Covered.