Tablets may be a relatively recent phenomenon, but they have quickly become the third pillar in the business landscape alongside smartphones and PCs.
While some claim that they are useful only as consumer gadgets – good for watching Netflix in bed, but not much else – these misconceptions are being dismissed by businesses all over the world reaping the productivity benefits that tablets can offer.
The tablet landscape is already incredibly diverse, catering for a wide range of companies looking to gain a competitive edge and it’s important that your business doesn’t get left behind.
In fact, there are a number of ways that tablets can be used in the workplace – their versatility is one of their best attributes. Perhaps most obviously, tablets provide an effective way of presenting visual information on a more user-friendly screen size, because they offer more mobility compared to a laptop but don’t suffer from the small display associated with smartphones. This could prove useful in a variety of settings, such as carrying out presentations or accessing customer data on the move.
Tablets are also proving useful for businesses that are looking to transition towards a paperless and more productive way of working. Filling out paper forms in the field – whether you’re running through checklists, getting customer signatures, or completing job sheets – is time consuming, error-prone and ultimately costly to your business. Apps like Smart Forms from EE, using Canvas, allow you to create your own smart forms on a tablet so you can capture information instantly, saving you time and money.
Although investing in tablets will require some financial outlay, in the long run they are capable of saving businesses significant sums of money due to the increase in productivity that they generate. A recent study by Dynamic Markets found that 70 per cent of employers had witnessed “substantial” improvements to productivity as a result of tablet usage and estimated that productivity levels had increased by approximately 44 per cent. Research indicates that tablets are not just proving useful in an office environment either. Retailers are using them as barcode scanners, restaurant staff are able to manage bookings more efficiently and construction managers can evaluate plans on site.
However, to ensure tablets make the biggest impact on your business, you must first assess which device is right for your line of work. Fortunately EE has made this decision easier for companies by offering a wide range of tablets to suit a variety of business needs. All EE tablets come with superfast 4GEE as standard meaning you can download large files, stream video content and work quickly wherever you are. For businesses that take part in international travel, EE also offers a number of roaming add-ons and companies with tablet plans of £30 or more will automatically receive 100MB of data to use in Europe at no extra cost.
As well as opting for more affordable devices, there are other ways that businesses can embrace tablets without crippling their IT budget. If companies look long-term, a 36-month tablet plan not only aligns well with three-year business technology cycles, but also provides significant savings. EE offers three-year plans to businesses only, which can generate savings of 25 per cent when compared to 24-month contracts.
While it’s important for businesses to choose the right tablet and contract, having the right applications is also vital. Businesses will find that certain applications work just as effectively across tablets, if not more so. With Business Apps from EE, companies can manage their security, finances and customer relations easily and effectively. In the retail sector, apps like Shopwave can speed up payment processes and stock management, while website building app Moonfruit can help organisations create an effective online presence. Many apps also benefit from a tablet’s larger display, which can make navigation and document sharing much easier.
Tablets have clearly come a long way in a short time. They are no longer viewed merely as consumer play-things and are making serious business statements in companies all over the world.
With the diversity of tablets and mobile applications now available, a wide range of industries from construction to accountancy are becoming part of the tablet workplace revolution. With EE, companies benefit from flexible data plans and applications that transform tablets from just another workplace device to an essential business tool.