The Hyper-Portability Of Tablets Drives Worker Productivity | Forrester Blogs

Why do companies support tablets today or plan to support them soon? According to a recent survey by the market research firm Forrester,  IT decision-makers’ #1 answer, at 62%? Because tablets are a “more portable form factor than the traditional laptop.” This response eclipsed end user preferences, ease of use considerations, and other possible answers.

In an insightful blog, Forrester’s JP Gowndner compares the emergence of laptops in the workplace with the introduction of the cotton gin. His observation:

Some technologies radically reshape productivity. Take, for example, the cotton gin (1792), which fundamentally transformed labor. A quote from Wikipedia claims: “With a cotton gin, in one day a man could remove seed from as much upland cotton as would have previously taken a woman working two months to process at one pound a day.” By profoundly increasing worker productivity, the cotton gin revolutionized both the textile and agricultural industries.

In the same blog Gownder asks whether workers are taking advantage of the hyper-portability of tables. Forrester’s findings:

In our Forrsights Workforce Employee Survey, we asked global information workers who use PCs and tablets (respectively) where they use each device in a typical week. We found that:

  • Tablets empower workers to be productive in (far) more places. The Figure below shows that information workers use their tablets much more often than PCs in heterogeneous locations. The differences are significant for use in a different room or building at work, or in another work location or client site. The differences are vast for truly mobile locations like coffee shops, or for use while traveling or commuting. Tablets span the gamut of locations, while PCs don’t.
  • PCs, in fact, dominate only in one spot – at the work desk. Workers’ desks haven’t gone away, even if 29% of workers fall into the category Forrester calls “Anytime, Anywhere” information workers. Today, 91% of workers say they use their PCs at their desks. Certain hardcore computing tasks – think the creation of complex spreadsheets – might optimally be accomplished on a PC (or Mac). But the growing picture is that of a primary computer used at one’s desk, but a highly flexible adjunct computer – a tablet – being used everywhere else.
  • And tablets are rivaling PCs as the go-to device for taking work home. The #1 spot where information workers who own a tablet do work on it? At home: 68% of tablet users say they do so, compared with 43% of PC users. For applications related to staying connected – email and instant messaging, for instance – tablets fit the bill nicely, obviating the need to take a full-fledged work PC home on evenings and weekends.

So tablets are coming and PCs are going, at least for mobile workers. And who isn’t mobile these days? You can read the full blog here The Hyper-Portability Of Tablets Drives Worker Productivity | Forrester Blogs.