With credit to Apple, tablets didn’t really take off until the iPad came out, which many predicted would fail before it even debuted. But with hindsight always being 20/20, the tablet’s meteoric proliferation should sort of been a no-brainer. From the perspective of our personal lives, tablets allow us to easily shop, watch videos and movies, surf the web, and catch up on reading – all while being able to carry them around pretty much anywhere.
I guess the same could be said of the smartphone (which also massively exploded in popularity), but tablet user behavior seems to be different – in fact, more familiar. Adobe reports that, “while tablet and smartphone consumers are both mobile, tablet users actually behave more like PC users in the way they browse and engage.”
That’s a particularly important finding for tablet companies looking to make moves in our personal and, more recently, professional lives. The numbers suggest that this technology is only going to become more pervasive. Tablet shipments are expected to reach almost 300M by the end of 2014, with Apple remaining the leader in enterprise tablet sales, but not before Microsoft and Google start eating bigger pieces of the pie. With a smart device market that’s already reached over $600B, growth will mean big bucks and increasingly higher competition.
But what will mobile device providers, specifically tablet companies, need to do to be successful in the enterprise? We have a pretty good hunch based on what we’re reading from the experts and what we’re hearing from our users.
According to TabTimes, “The old strategy [is] simply giving users controlled access to files and folders. The new strategy [is] making mobile interaction with business content similar to PC interactions.” This supports what Adobe was reporting in early 2013. It seems that the right mobile experience is one that almost makes you feel like you haven’t switched to a new device.
This trend sheds light on the tendency of PCs and tablets functioning as complements rather than adversaries for today’s mobile professional. It’s something that the SlideShark team looked to address with our recent release of SlideShark Anywhere, allowing users of our mobile app to extend its value to their PC and Mac computers. But there are more elements that we’re seeing our users and other business professionals ask for to improve their tablet experience.
Here are several themes:
More engagement. Make it easy for people to use and see who’s doing what, when, and where.
Interactivity. Make it easy for people to collaborate in live and on-demand environments.
Connectivity. The ability to work productively both on AND offline.
Security. Mobile can be a Wild West with corporate workers often far from HQ with their devices. Protect them and protect the company’s data!
Consistency. Get people to work the right way even when it’s harder to keep tabs as result of their remoteness
Regardless of the device, enterprise values seem to be pretty consistent. Give corporations comfort, control, and insight into their teams’ activities in an intuitive way and the market will likely be yours to take a piece of.