Survey: Tablets in the workplace - hot or not?

Are tablets in the workplace allowed in your organization? Take Tech Pro Research's survey to share thoughts on the pros and cons of enterprise tablets.

The death of the traditional desktop computer has been heralded for some time now, largely due to the rise of tablet computers which offer many of the same features and functions in a portable, user-friendly device. Tablets are controlled via touch screen, eliminating the need for a keyboard and mouse (though many offer a “virtual” keyboard to facilitate text entry) and offer faster startup times than PCs, so they are a good resource for “need it now” access to information.

Tech Pro Research, which is TechRepublic's premium content sister publication, is conducting a survey to find out about the use of tablets in the workplace.

Dozens of vendors have entered the game and tablets are being offered by virtually every computer manufacturer. The Apple iPad and iPad mini have arguably led the charge in carving out a niche among loyal users. However, Apple competitors such as Samsung and Amazon aren’t far behind, and the “tablet wars” bear strong resemblance to that of the smartphone arena with the Apple iOS and Android operating systems starring as top contenders.

According to ABI Research, at the close of 2013 over 285 million “big brand” tablets (Apple or Samsung, for instance) were in use world-wide. Approximately a quarter of those tablets are in the United States. Forrester Research predicts 375 million tablets will be in the hands of users by the end of 2016 and more than half will run the Apple iOS. While the desktop PC will probably remain safe in some areas – the ability to burn discs, plug in a large amount of USB devices, enjoy multiple large screens and easily customize internal hardware will likely remain desirable features – it’s clear that a revolution is underway.

Given the appeal of tablets for entertainment, music, e-reading and – perhaps most significantly – games for young children, many of whom master these devices before learning to read, tablets may seem to largely appeal to a consumer market. However, as the IT department of any company with a “Bring your own device” (BYOD) policy can attest, tablets are helping workers to get their jobs done as well.

Please share your input in the Tech Pro Research survey on whether tablets are in use at your organization and what benefits they may provide – as well as where their influence may be strongest. Are they being actively provided to employees or merely permitted via a BYOD program? In what areas are they providing unique value and where are they coming up short?

Please take our survey and let us know more about the use of tablets in your workplace. If you'd like a free copy of the research report, normally available only to Tech Pro Research subscribers, you'll have the option of entering your email address at the end of the survey.


Teena Hammond is a Senior Editor at TechRepublic. She has 20 years of journalism experience as an editor and writer covering a range of business and lifestyle topics. More than 2,000 of her published articles have appeared online and in books, newspa...


I don't really know about the "general" practice on this but I think this boils down to the needs of the employee as in how mobile they need to be. For one who is stationary in the office, I don't see why they need to use tablets. Besides, not every company have HDMI connectivity on their projectors for meetings yet. I would imagine these tablets will mostly help mobile sales force and/or managers or higher who need to travel very frequently and hardly spend time on their laptops. At the same time, these people probably prefer a phablet as they have a tablet's battery with normal smartphone capabilities.


I just have one question about this survey. Tech republic is an IT blog, so you would think that most of the readers are in the IT sector, so why when it gets to the part of the survey about what Industry you are in, does it only have, right at the bottom, IT, yet above that is listed most other professions??? To me just having IT as one option doesn't make sense. What IT??? Surely a blog like tech republic should at least have a few options for IT, seeing as IT is not just one option. Are you in IT- Software Development, IT- Hardware Support, IT - Admin, IT - Database Support/Development, IT - Journalism/Writing and so on. Even in the IT - Software Development there is even more break down. 

I have seen this in nearly every survey I do with regards to Technology. IT is listed as one option to cover the vast range of IT professions. Normally someone who programs in C# or C++ or Java or whatever other language there is, could now how to fix a computer if it is not working, but that is not what they do. Fixing computers would be the Hardware/Support IT. Just the same as someone who could be a very good database admin doesn't necessarily know how to communicate with the rest of the world, that would be the IT Journalist, the one who can talk both IT and normal people speak. 

So I ask, in future survey's, please can there be at least have some kind of division in IT option. 


Interesting there are no questions on how many / percentage tablets deployed vs Laptops/ desktops.

Needs better questions on how tablets are deployed.

Point solutions?

As a second mobile device?

As a primary device?

Tablet usage here:

- A point solution.  ~ 90% of deployed tablets

-- Most of these point solutions people have a desktop as well.

- Windows based tablets are replacement devices.  ~ 5% of deployed tablets

- BYOD tablets as a mobile companion to a laptop desktop. ~ 5% of deployed tablets

Deployments of tablet vs laptop/desktop:  Tablets are a small minority.

The one take-away for my work is only Tablet PCs that are just as powerful as laptops and running Windows OS replace a laptop / desktop.


Survey?  I thought BYOD was so widespread, according all of the reports and articles saying so, that the question would be a moot one by now.  Apparently not.

On a tangent, this article presents a very interesting point, and a big question mark.

 Looking at the following statement, borrowed from the article,

"According to ABI Research, at the close of 2013 over 285 million “big brand” tablets (Apple or Samsung, for instance) were in use world-wide."

it would seem that the "post-PC" mantra was never true, and that it might never be true.  

If the world only has 285 million tablets in use, and that figure includes tablets sold during the last 4 years or so, then, there is no way that the collective world mentality is even thinking about going to a "post-PC" era.  PCs sell over 300 million devices per year, which is more than the number of tablets sold in the last 4 years. If we were to tally the number of PCs sold in the last 4 years, we would have 1.2 billion PCs sold; compare that to the "measly" 285 million tablets sold in the same period.  How the heck can the bloggers look at those kind of figures, and still write the junk they do regarding their "post-PC" nonsense? 

(btw, how does anyone know that that many tablets are still in use; a good many of them could be gathering dust in a closet or become landfill by now),


@adornoe It's the 'tunnel-vision' you get on tech sites like this and with think-tanks and consultancies. They have agendas of their own (advertisers, and generating more page hits), and you do that by promoting new technologies and trends as if they've already happened. By rights, everyone has their own smartphone and tablet, subsidized by their company under BYOD, working from home (because that's what EVERYONE that is 'current' does, right?) through huge-bandwidth Net connections to look at my Big Data-connected software and server suite, fully hosted in 'The Cloud'... All having been set up and running fully problem and error-free, of course, by professional companies that run these services for you at a tremendous cost savings...

Yeah. I don't, either. But 'trendy' young execs in non-IT fields read articles like this, and they have no reason to believe otherwise. The IT people in the trenches are simply told, "Make it work. You have until next Wednesday..."

The problem is that computers were limited to 'tech-heads'. People that knew how to use them. This is a minority of the population. The general public weren't interested because they weren't useful to them, were too big and bulky (or were too slow if they were small), and too expensive. Now we have cost-effective tablets and smartphones that are small, 'cute', cater to more 'uses' of the general public, and are fast enough to perform the few tasks they want at acceptable speeds. Of COURSE they're selling well!

At the same time, I'm currently running a seven year-old Athlon64 5000+ at home that does everything I need at more than acceptable speeds. Would I like more speed and power? Sure, but I'm a power user. My parents, for example, would be LAUGHING with a machine like this! So where's the drive to buy a newer PC for these masses of buyers? Not there. At least, not until the next OS upgrade makes their current system unsupported (I'm looking at you, XP) or unusable. So PC sales are declining. Tablets and such are soaring. So, Tablets are replacing PCs, right? Not for the people that 'use' them. I'll always want the power a desktop will give me. My parents won't. When their home PC becomes too outdated, they'll probably be happy with a tablet. And they represent the majority of the 'buying' public.

What does that give us professionals? Windows 8...


@info @adornoe I would make the argument that, tablets sales do not represent the majority of the buying public.  That's one of the points I made with my earlier remarks, and it's also the same point that the article points to, and the point is that, tablets sales are still very far behind PC sales.  The only device that might compete with PCs are tablets, but, they represent "only" 285 million total sales for the last 4 years combined, while PCs still sell over 300 million per year. 

If somebody wants to mention smartphones are being "post_PC" devices, they're wrong.  Smartphones are this era's replacement for the phone.  A phone is not a computing device, and in reality, neither are most tablets.  

Editor's Picks