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"A Tablet for Every Boardroom: The Rise of the Tablet Computer in the Workplace" Laura A. Oliver

Page |2 A Tablet for Every Boardroom: The Rise of the Tablet Computer in the Workplace Tablet computers are not just for playing Angry Birds anymore. According to a recent survey of Fortune 500 companies, 30 % of North American companies are already equipping some employees with tablet computers and three-quarters of them are working on supporting employee use of tablets instead of laptops. These numbers have many experts estimating that business-use of laptops will be overtaken by tablets, calling this growth the fastest uptake of any device in enterprise ever, (Immen, 2011). Though Apples iPad remains the tablet leader, many other companies are developing tablets for use in business (Keizer, 2011).What makes the tablet such a valuable business commodity?Competitive pricing, mobility, and easy-of-use are just a few of the reasons the tablet is becoming must-have technology in todays workplace. Traditionally, the most advanced technology appeared in the workplace first and then migrated into the consumer market. Tablets have entered the workplace via the back door, entering business via the consumer. As more and more employees bring personal tablets into the office, businesses are seeing the advantages of using them in the workplace (Helft, 2011). Chris Fleck, vice president of community solutions and development at Citrix Systems, Inc., states, Consumer devices really have transformed into business tools. They are allowing people to leave their laptops at home, (Jackson, 2011). This shift in consumerization that began with the smartphone, is taking place with tablet computers (Helft, 2011). Most consumers are familiar with Apples highly successful tablet computer, the iPad and the most recent version, the iPad2. It is becoming commonplace to see people reading books, playing games, and accessing the internet on their tablet computers.In recent months,companies like Motorola and Samsung have introduced tablet computers into the

Page |3 consumer marketplace and those same companies, along with Hewlett-Packard and Research in Motion, are developing tablets tailored for business.Major businesses like General Electric, Wells Fargo, and DuPont are incorporating tablets into the workplace with the hope of making them part of day-to-day operations. Uses for the tablets vary widely based on the industry. For example, lobby ambassadors at Hyatt Hotels are given iPads to help speed up long check-in and check-out lines and to offer quick access to concierge services (Helft, 2011). OMNI Community Credit Union has used the iPad to help their business become paperless by using them to review documents and in the boardroom (Giovanni, 2010). Business applications for tablet computers are developing as fast as the tablets themselves. Both the Apple and Android app markets offer Documents to Go, which is fully compatible with all versions of Microsoft Office. The Android marketplace also offers access to Google Docs allowing users to save their documents and access, edit, and update them fromanywhere with internet access (Koehler, 2011). SAP has created the Afaria software package that allows office administrators to have more control over the company smartphones and tablets and IBM is developing applications that allow users to access company information in a secure manner and with ease from their tablets (Jackson, 2011). Development of tablet applications for business will continue to expand as more tablets enter the workplace. The growing popularity of using tablets in the business world stems from several areas. First, tablets are mobile. With an average weight of 1.5 pounds and no need for a keyboard or mouse, they are a perfect fit for workers who spend a lot of time on their feet and for business travelers (Immen, 2011). With increased mobility comes increased productivity. Tablets pack a lot of power into a small package and are on average 63 percent faster than laptops (Peterson, 2011). As Brandon Koehler states in the article Office Mobility, Itd be a shame to waste all

Page |4 that power on just Angry Birds, so why not get some work done on the road? (2011) Tablets are also very customizable, allowing companies to create specialized applications for their employees.At a starting price of around $500, tablets are very cost-effective when compared to desktop PCs. Finally, with many companies striving to become paperless, most tablet displays are easy to read, can be used for making presentations, taking notes and make it possible to replace paper files (Immen, 2011). With all of the wonderful uses for a tablet computer, there are still concerns and challenges to be addressed by businesses using them. One issue recently arose in Canadas Parliament, when members who did not receive iPads were quite upset. Parliament member, Pat Martin, commented, Why are we forced to use a horse and buggy when everybody else has got state-of-the-art equipment? According to analysts, this perception could become a common one as some businesses provide tablets for some and not for everyone (Immen, 2011). Another issue is controlling employees use of tablets for personal in addition to business use. An executive at NBC Universal stated, We cant tell people not to use this technology at work. If we did, they would continue to use it, and we would be in the dark about what they do, (Peterson, 2011). With the proper security in place, IT professionals can allow access to corporate information on applications that the company provides and separate personal information on the tablet (Immen, 2011). As with most new technology, challenges will have to be overcome for the tablet to work to the fullest in the workplace. From a Biblical ethical worldview, technology in itself is not good or bad. It is what individuals chose to do with that technology that can be seen as moral or immoral. The tablet computers morality is determined by how it is used. If business leaders adopt a Biblical worldview, the decisions they make are filtered through the Gods word and in Christs likeness.

Page |5 Were this to be the case, the use of the tablet computer would be in a moral fashion and business leaders would conduct business and their lives in the context of a Biblical worldview. All we can really control is how we choose to live and conduct business and show others that a moral, ethical workplace is not a fairytale, but a very real way to exist. Tablet computers offer a wealth of advantages to the business world. From increased productivity and cost-effectiveness to ground-breaking applications that will change the way the world does business, the future appears bright for the tablet computer. The true test will be the tablets sustainability, continued innovation, and business leaders dedicated to using this new technology in ethical, moral ways to extend and advance their workplace.

Page |6 References diGiovanni, M. (2010). iPad in the workplace. Credit Union Times, 21(48), 11. Retrieved April 2, 2011, from EBSCOhost Helft, M. (2001, February 21). After iPad's head start, rival tablets are poised to flood ffices. New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved April 2, 2011, from EBSCOhost Immen, W. (2011, February 25). Move over, laptop. The tablet has arrived.The Globe and Mail. Retrieved April 2, 2011 from http://www.lexisnexis.com.oak.indwes.edu Keizer, G. (2011, April 4). Businesses plan a tablet buying spree.Computerworld, 45(1), p. 4. Retrieved April 4, 2011, from Academic OneFile Koehler, B. (2011). Office Mobility. OfficePro, 71(2), 34-35. Retrived from EBSCOhost Jackson, J. (2011). Business Apps Target Consumer Devices. Computerworld, 45(1), p. 6. Retrieved April 1, 2011 from EBSCOhost Peterson, K. (2001, February 21). Your next co-worker: A tablet. Retrieved April 1, 2011, from http://money.msn.com/top-stocks/post.aspx?post=c30e16a3-2804-4968-841dd61d5988ba4a

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