There are so many similarities between the early days of the PC (1978-1982) and this era in the nascent market for tablets. In both cases, the vast majority of purchases in these early days were made by consumers, even if the device was being brought into work. After all, there were no budgets for these new devices, and IT didn’t have any way to manage or deal with them. However, once they started showing up in larger numbers, this approach was no longer valid, and organizations moved to buy and manage them.
It took the PC 4 years to get to this point, but less than half of that for the tablet. And for the commercial tablet, the time has come for organizations to get in front of the wave and start providing employees with tablets, and weaning them from their personal devices. Tout de suite!
Of course, the Cap-Ex conscious reader is shuddering, with the unexpected hit from potentially hundreds of new devices that cost $700-$1000 each. But those with real financial acumen look at the small Cap-Ex number, and start to offset that with a myriad of cost savings that can be generated with corporate delivered tablets.
One of the largest area of cost savings is the move from reactive security processes that attempt to put some control on personally owned devices, as opposed to deploying a device from IT that has the right security solutions installed, disk encryption, and even virtualization to minimize and resident data. This could save literally hundreds of hours of IT resources now spent trying to secure tablets.
The second bucket of savings is to move away from reimbursement for network and other services on a one by one basis, and get fleet rates from carriers and vendors. Suppliers such as Lenovo with the new Yoga tablet are set up to help you simplify this aspect and lower the out of pocket costs during acquisition.
Next on the list of cost reductions from corporate provided tablets is the substantial decrease in service and support fees. Right now BYOD tablet support is done primarily on an ad hoc basis, often outside current service process, and in crisis mode. The situation can be a nightmare for the tech as in many cases a high level manager is using their position to jump the queue and get support from someone that may not be fully trained on the specific tablet the senior executive bought. Efficiency is impossible in this interrupt driven support process for a myriad of personally owned devices.
And it doesn’t end there. Imagine the nightmare of rolling out a new mobile application across a base of unknown personal devices. Or dealing with a security event that is rolling through the organization? The reality is that IT and the organizations that they serve need to have some level of control and consistency to operate efficiently. Tablets are not a reason to throw that fact out the window.