Can you run your business from a tablet?
Tablets conquer the world in less than 7 years
Today’s tablets are powerful, flexible and handy computing devices. It’s hard to think that the first tablet to gain popular mainstream acceptance, the original Apple iPad, only debuted on April 3rd 2010.
Since then the market has exploded with devices from the big hardware manufacturers as well as those from hundreds of new market entrant brands. There are a lot of size options and the smallest 3/4G capable ones blur the line between the phone and the tablet – quite literally where does the tablet end and the smartphone begin?
Tablet computers are ubiquitous and seem to have conquered practically all markets. But can you run a business from one?
The role of complexity and scale
The answer is often related to how complex your business is. If it is a micro-business of up to 9 people, then you may able to effectively operate the levers in your line of business from a tablet. Cloud services such as Office 365, Salesforce.com and Xero accounting are all-powerful business tools that provide productivity, CRM driven sales, and financial management. Providing appropriate cloud services exist, a micro-business may well be fully functional without the need for any IT infrastructure, such as servers, storage or backup devices of its own.
However, with increasing scale and complexity often comes a demand for flexibility. To make tablets the successful ‘consumerised’ products that they are, they have sacrificed flexibility. The app-based computing model masks a lot of the underlying technology while providing cleaner more simplified user interfaces. This limits what you can do when compared to the ‘rawer’ computing experience of a PC or a laptop, and it is sometimes far from ideal if not impossible for ‘power users’ to be productive.
Virtual desktop computing environments
One important way that tablets can be used successfully in businesses where the computing requirement is more complex, is to use a virtual desktop environment.
The business or organisation provides network services over Wi-Fi or mobile broadband and provides a familiar virtualised Windows or Mac desktop with the same set of tools the user would usually get on a laptop, PC or Mac. The main drawback here however, is the need for the user to be able to adapt from a mouse to a mouse-less, touchscreen user interface.
Such an approach provides a powerful option for the use of tablets and is likely to be part of a larger strategy of Hosted Desktop and cloud-based computing across the organisation.
The answer is yes and the answer is no!
So, yes, a micro-business with simple technology requirements that makes exclusive use of free and subscribed cloud services could certainly be run using tablet computers.
And if your computing requirement is more complex, then the answer is probably no. However, tablets may almost certainly have a role at some level. This is most likely to be supporting mobile working when employees are out of the office. They may also be deployed successfully to support a desktop virtualisation strategy.
IT support and impartial advice from HTL
HTL Support provides the services that growing companies of 10 - 100 people need to maximise the value that IT returns to the business. Where internal IT resource is not cost-effective, or it is limited in capacity or capability, HTL provides the appropriate level of support to ensure that your business is not hampered by a lack of technical expertise.
To find out more about how we help growing companies maximise the value of using tablets in the business, simply get in touch today.