Tablet Wars Ignite Users versus IT
By Mike Anderson
The Tablet Wars are a highly visible force in the rapidly evolving mobile world, and they are heating up. The phenomenal success of Apple’s iPad has resulted in massive wave of competition as users flock to the tablet experience and vendors move to get a share of the fast growing market. IT organizations are being forced to bring iOS and Android devices into the Windows-centric world where they have effective management and control.
Tablet Wars: User and Enterprise Use Cases
While there are many great use cases where enterprises are taking the lead in deploying tablets, the predominant growth is coming from consumers. This is in no small part because Microsoft has not given IT organizations a tablet OS and user experience for them to extend the Windows standard for their business. Making tablets a part of the enterprise computing ecosystem has become a battleground for BYOD and solving the problems of managing mobile devices, mobile apps and mobile data, and of adding new vendors into the enterprise architecture.
Tablet Wars: User Experience or Manageability
Within the enterprise, usability and productivity have been priorities, but responding to user preference and individual choice when it comes to how computing gets delivered have not. IT organizations have built their reputations, and their organizations, on delivering business value with consistency, standardization and environments they can manage. BYOD, and the tablet wars, are stretching this model and fueling a change in how IT engages with the business.
Tablet Wars: Windows 8 and Windows RT Can Shift Power
Microsoft has been largely absent in this battle, so far. Windows 8, Windows RT and their Surface tablet are poised to significantly change the balance of power. Enabling a mobile strategy that can integrate PCs, smartphones and tablets around a common Windows environment and management ecosystem is a very attractive scenario for CIOs. Microsoft has CIOs with a Windows standard foundation as a powerful ally, so expect to see IT organizations attempt to slow the user-driven BYOD movement with a Windows 8 standard for PCs and mobile devices.
Tablet Wars: Winning Over Users
Users love their iPads, and others including Android and Windows 8 have yet to prove the ability to garner the same popularity. Look for a battle as users continue to demand their mobile devices of choice to be their mobile workplace, while IT organizations begin to move toward making a Windows and Surface-first approach their means to manage support costs. Expanding diversity, as Apple brings out smaller tablets and Amazon adds phones to their ecosystem, lines up to counter the Windows as standard model and bring users and IT into the tablet wars.
Tablets and mobile ecosystems that are needed for success are hot topics in our premium research. We also go in-depth on tablets and mobile in our 86 page strategic report on Tablets and Mobile Ecosystems.