I just got off the phone with a reporter from a major industry trade magazine (no names please!) who is preparing an article on enterprise mobile device adoption. Wanting to help ensure accuracy in the reporting, I provided him with statistical details from our recent research into the use of mobile devices in the enterprise and stepped him through the findings. He was fascinated by the results and asked lots of follow-up questions. In the end, however, he admitted he would likely not be able to use any of the information in his article (say what?!). Apparently, his editor had specifically tasked him with writing an article showcasing how tablets are rapidly replacing PCs in the workplace, even though this is completely contradictory to reality.
EMA’s primary research has clearly identified that mobile devices (including smartphones and tablets) are being adopted to supplement the use of PCs, not replace them. Of the more than 500 enterprise professionals that responded to our survey, 98% revealed they continue to rely on a desktop or laptop PCs to perform business task. 87% of respondents, however, indicated they also regularly utilize a mobile device, so there’s no question workforce mobility is a major requirement for enterprise IT support, but this is not happing at the expense of PC support.
The home consumer market is a very different story as the low cost of tablets and a minimal set of requirements (who needs a PC to play Candy Crush?) is making it more attractive for home users to ditch their PC and go with the more economical alternative. But this is a very different market than that of business professionals. Enterprise workers require much more robust working environment to complete job tasks, including larger screen real-estate, faster processing, an actual file-system, graphics support, and more accessible user interfaces (e.g. a full-sized mouse and keyboard). Consider what it would take to build a PowerPoint presentation or a large spreadsheet on a tablet – it’s just not practical today. Need more proof? Look at your own work environment. How many of your coworkers have completely abandoned the PC in favor of a tablet? Certainly some use cases may support this, but they are in the rare minority.
So, don’t always believe what you read in the media. They clearly have an agenda to sell copies by sensationalizing headlines, regardless of whether or not the facts contradict that perspective. The best advice is to check your internal BS meter and use common sense. If the news smells bad, avoid it like spoiled milk.