The arrival of touch technology has revolutionised consumer device usage and looks set to do the same for enterprises - in fact, according the Forrester Research the total tablets shipped is set to reach 375 million by 2016. Put simply, people are used to touch technology in their personal lives and are now expecting the same experience in their professional lives. Stemming from the success of consumer touch devices, a new generation of touch-enabled enterprise grade devices holds the promise for businesses of being able to support and maximise a new era of always-on connectivity and an empowered evolving workforce using the latest tools and capabilities to work remotely, flexibly and productively. With the potential to harness a new level of productivity and efficiency from a flexible workforce, it's no surprise that enterprises are asking if they can incorporate the touch experience in a secure and managed way.
To invest in and deploy any new technology, businesses must always ask a number of difficult questions to help decide if the business requirements will be met with the right benefits and at the right level of investment. Touch technologies are no exception; however, the one big difference is that this is not just a software upgrade and an extra handful of features. Instead, it is vital that enterprises understand and consider that, by revolutionising form factors, touch is really about upgrading the way business is done and workers operate.
New touch operating systems bring to life a new generation of business tools that not only seek to meet the demands of an evolving, tech savvy and 'tech expectant' workforce, but also represent the route to genuine productivity gains by enabling workers to get their job done anytime, anywhere. For businesses, this is a strategic decision as much as a technology decision and, as such, they should ask 'how can touch drive productivity and device choice, while addressing security, manageability and ROI?' If all the answers stack up, it could be a simple decision.
Upfront, it is all about providing a touch-friendly interface. Not only does this drive an effective workflow and responsiveness of quality business-class tablets, but also enables ultrabooks, laptops and tablet-laptop hybrids all to support more traditional output tasks. Throw in the ability to run and use a host of traditional apps and it is clear why touch offers considerable benefits to today's workforce and businesses.
Understanding how and where employees are productive is vital in deciding how touch-enabled devices can be used to maximum advantage. For knowledge workers, productivity can be increased by having one device that can function as both tablet and laptop. If a tablet is functioning as secondary device, certain operating systems also offer one interface which enables users to move seamlessly from working on conventional PCs, to tablets and mobile devices, and back again.
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