“During the next five to 10 years, media tablets will instigate change in computing form factors.” said Angela McIntyre, research director at Gartner.
The simplicity of multitouch on media tablets has been converting users, and thus affecting the hardware business. Some enterprise applications have already felt the multitouch effect in the development stage as they are only designed to work with a keyboard and mouse.
“Modular designs will enable tablets to take on new functions, becoming the cross-platform controller and brain for hybrid consumer electronics and computers,” said McIntyre.
She also pointed out that, for many, touchscreens will be their first pathway to the Internet. And, significantly, “the keyboard on PCs is a major barrier for those who have had no reason or opportunity to become facile with QWERTY.”
As for SME’s, a study found that 37 per cent already have tablets in the work place but only five per cent of SME’s think the tablets will replace other devices.
The difference for a large enterprise is that they have to be more structured, whilst most SME’s only use tablets for convenience.
A CIO at a large enterprise would have to consider implementing work tablets when senior staff use their BYOD (bring-your-own-device), to access company applications.
“Employees’ own devices are in parallel to the desktops and smartphones that are already given to them by the company. So it begs the question whether CIOs should provision BYOD or provide tablets,” said Drury.
“Alternative user interfaces, such as multitouch, are essential for extending the deployment of computing devices into new markets,” said McIntyre, and along with Drury, agrees it is only a matter of time until they are more prevalent in the enterprise.