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Is it time for laptops to shut down?

Although they may have started life as consumer entertainment gadgets, tablets are now rightfully regarded as serious business tools. Considering the added mobility that they provide when compared with laptops, it is hardly surprising that more and more businesses are choosing tablets as their device of choice.

Being able to work anywhere means being productive anywhere, which brings huge competitive advantages. Whether it’s via added mobility or mobile applications, tablets provide the flexibility required of a modern business.

It is vitally important that businesses see tangible benefits as a result of their expenditure on tablet hardware and many organisations have. In fact, a recent survey by Dynamic Markets found that 70 per cent of employers had reported substantial productivity improvements as a result of tablet use in the workplace. Evidently tablets are gaining traction in the business environment and there are a number of reasons for this.

A major factor that is driving businesses toward tablet use is their simplicity and flexibility. Tablets are extremely user friendly, with their touch-screen controls enabling employees to quickly and intuitively get on with their work. Their portability also means that staff can work remotely whenever they need to. With EE’s 4GEE mobile connectivity, businesses can access emails, stream conference calls and use all the apps that they need outside of the office. The high speeds provided ensure that working remotely via tablet is just as seamless, fast, and productive as working from a desktop PC. Customers now expect businesses to be agile and flexible, able to work wherever and whenever required. Tablets let businesses deliver services outside of traditional office locations, giving them the flexibility that’s demanded in the modern world of work.

Technology is also fast becoming a major component of an organisation’s image and tablets play a key role within this. Using tablets to boost productivity demonstrates that a business is willing to embrace innovative new ways of working and adopts a forward-thinking attitude. Similarly, tablets project an air of professionalism that can’t be replicated with more traditional office tools. For businesses, projecting the right kind of image can be vital for securing new customers and retaining existing ones. Tablets are a great way for businesses to say to customers, clients and competitors that they are innovative, productive and professional.

In addition, business apps are turning tablets into multi-faceted productivity tools. Business Apps from EE offers a number of productivity solutions that ensure your tablet provides as much utility as possible, whatever industry you’re based in. These specially chosen apps enable businesses to manage their finances, secure their data, communicate with customers and boost their productivity, whether in the office or on the move. Included in Business Apps from EE is Sage One Accounts and Payroll to help you keep in control of your cash flow and balance the books, Norton 360 to secure your devices and many other applications that bring added value to your business. What’s more, many of the applications are available as a free 30-day trial with EE, meaning that businesses can test the software on their tablets before having to commit.

For specific industries, EE has also created bespoke solutions that harness the power of tablets. Connected Retail from EE, for example, is specifically designed to enable greater mobility and agility for retail businesses. The solution encompasses a tablet, the POS software powered by Shopwave, and iZettle (an accessory facilitating contactless and chip and pin card payments). This allows businesses to replace their entire point-of-sale system with a tablet. Using Connected Retail on 4GEE, retailers can manage stock levels, run full sales reports and take payments all from the palm of their hand. A number of pop-up shops have already used tablets to give their business a competitive edge. Storeys, a retailer based in London, says the simplicity of using a tablet and Connected Retail has been vital for all its pop-up experiences. Located on the roof of a multi-storey carpark, Storeys needs technology that is reliable, easy-to-use and most importantly mobile. Connected Retail from EE lets it complete transactions and deliver experiences all using a tablet, with 4GEE providing the speed and reliability that it needs to deliver its unique service.

As well as having a wide range of apps to choose from, businesses that opt for one of EE’s tablet plans will benefit from a flexible array of data options. Different organisations will require different levels of connectivity, and with EE, each tablet comes with a number of options to suit your budget and data needs. Furthermore, EE is the first UK mobile network to offer tablets on 36-month plans for small business to help reduce costs and offer even greater value to the customer. A three-year tablet plan also syncs with the traditional three-year hardware cycle used by many businesses. This ensures that you get the most from your tablet before deciding whether or not you require an upgrade.

Business processes may be changing rapidly, becoming more flexible and agile, but tablets are changing too – rightly claiming their place as the third pillar of business communications alongside laptops and smartphones. The iPad Pro (offered as part of EE’s tablet range), for example, can be coupled with Apple’s Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil to provide additional ways of working. Many other tablets can similarly be paired with keyboards and connected to accessories to ensure they fit your business needs. EE offers a wide variety of devices, all with superfast 4GEE, specially tailored to the business market. With a broad range of sizes, technical specifications and data plans, including the super durable Samsung Galaxy Tab Active, which is perfect for anyone who works outdoors, and the budget-friendly Harrier Tab (available for just £7.50 a month), there’s bound to be a tablet to suit your needs.

With changes to workplace processes and hardware developments, tablets and businesses are now the perfect fit. They offer a professional image, portability, flexibility and, through a host of useful applications, productivity. As the UK’s biggest, fastest, most reliable network, EE is making tablets even better by ensuring companies have access to everything that they need to get the most from their devices.

Tablets should not be considered as inferior to laptops any longer. Businesses from all over the world, and in a variety of industries, are now embracing tablets to help them work faster, smarter and better.

Image source: Shutterstock/Modella