Market Insights on the Pending Business Tablet Invasion

Here's the scenario, you're a busy executive working away from your office and you just want to quickly research something on the Web. You turn on the company-provided notebook computer and you wait the standard 3-6 minute delay, before you can actually use it.

The corporate IT department has numerous mandatory processes that must load first -- such as virus protection, data backup, system and app software updates, etc. -- on a typical Windows system. That's often dozens of processes running at start-up, and some will consume 100 percent of the available processing power.

That automated cycle can temporarily incapacitate a notebook PC. Don't bother attempting to load a web browser while this PC start-up sequence is in motion. What's the alternative? If you have a media tablet, simply use it instead and you're on the Web in a matter of seconds.

Mobile Workers and Their Virtual Workspace

Is your company prepared for the pending business tablet invasion that will likely raise the bar of expectations for corporate mobile computing? Ready or not, this trend is already in motion. Cisco announced findings from a global survey of IT managers' perceptions about tablet form-factor mobile devices in the enterprise.

Cisco commissioned Redshift Research to perform a market study to assess attitudes, fears and hopes for media tablets in the workplace from a survey of more than 1500 IT managers and executives in the U.S., Canada, UK, France, Germany and Spain. While it's still considered a nascent market, this year we'll surely see an increase in the adoption of business-oriented tablet computing.

Key findings from the market study include:

Media Tablet Demand
  • Tablets vs. smartphones: which win? Globally, IT departments report employees place one tablet request for every three smartphone requests today.
  • Which countries lead? Of the countries surveyed, the US and France are tied for tops -- each report a tablet is requested by 21% of the workforce. Senior executives are most likely to be issued a tablet in the US (38%) and least likely to be issued one in the UK (27 percent).
  • Who's most excited? Spain tops the list, with 90% of IT managers believing the tablet will become more popular in the next two years.
  • "Uber-connected sales guys". Tablets are significantly more prevalent among salespeople in Germany (31%) than in all other countries (21% on average).

IT Manager Fears And Wants
  • Tops in security concerns? The U.S., the country with the most experience managing tablets, also ranks #1 on the "security issue": 75% of US IT managers said new rules must be established around security and device usage.
  • What about app access? Nearly half (48%) of all IT managers surveyed agree that access to company applications should be restricted for all employees. Canada and UK were the top countries in wanting to see restricted access on tablet form-factor devices (55% and 56 %, respectively).
  • Custom apps? IT managers universally agree that custom tablet applications would benefit their business.
  • Top "want list" features? Globally, three-quarters of IT managers indicated email and document sharing are "must haves". About half agreed or strongly agreed that these are desirable: video conferencing, IM, access to company databases and seamless synchronization with other business devices.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
  • Turning a blind eye to BYOD. Globally, 48% said their company would never authorize employees to bring their own devices to work, yet 57% agreed that some employees use personal devices without consent.
  • 51% of the respondents reported the number of employees bringing their own devices to work is on the rise.
  • Using personal devices without consent was highest in the US (64%) and lowest in Germany (49%).
  • Access to company servers was highlighted as a "huge problem" of the "bring your own device" to work phenomena as was lost/stolen devices (64% globally).
  • Globally, 44% say that handling BYOD issues diverts IT attention from other important projects.

"Mobile workers and virtual workspaces are here to stay -- but so are the demands on IT to continue to ensure enterprise-grade security, manageability and interoperability. 2012 promises to be an exciting year and IT leaders are a critical component in unleashing innovation and enabling organizations to take advantage of the next wave of business growth and opportunity. Cisco is keenly focused on helping its customers navigate the post-PC era and transform their business," said Tom Puorro, director of product management, IPCBU, Cisco Systems.

Survey respondents were from a wide variety of global companies and are either primary IT decision makers or play a key role in the procurement process. Sole proprietors were excluded from the study. Field work was conducted in late 2011.
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Managed Cloud Service Provider Deployment Plans

 As more multinational business executives and IT managers consider embracing managed cloud service offerings, many are wondering how the service provider landscape is evolving -- and where providers plan to differentiate their capabilities.

Much of the initial market insight focused on the key emerging trends, but now we're starting to see more detailed analysis.

A new market study by Infonetics Research details operator plans for managed cloud services -- including their strategies and approaches to offering services, how services will be delivered now and in the future, and top applications of each type of cloud service including: Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS).

Their latest worldwide study resulted in the report entitled "Cloud Service Strategies: Global Service Provider Survey," where Infonetics analysts interviewed 20 incumbent telco, competitive, data center operators, and cable operators that offer cloud services -- now, or they plan to by 2013.

Investing in New Service Delivery Platforms

"Service providers around the world have embraced the cloud concept in earnest and are heavily investing in new services and service delivery platforms based on their particular areas of expertise. Internet content providers are leading with SaaS, data center and co-location operators are adding IaaS to their product portfolios and investing in additional infrastructure facilities, and traditional telcos are building on their existing networks and adding a range of services," said Sam Barnett, Infonetics Research's directing analyst for data center and cloud.

Highlights from the Cloud Service Survey Include:
  • 70 percent of respondent operators are investing in cloud services in anticipation of demand.
  • The top operator strategies for offering cloud services are bundling cloud services with network connectivity services and offering cloud services over Ethernet or IP VPN services.
  • Many of the smaller data center providers participating in Infonetics' survey plan to keep their business uncomplicated by moving from simple collocation support offerings to IaaS via the addition of computer and storage hardware, rather than getting into the complexities of offering OS software platforms.
  • 95 percent of respondent operators offer IaaS now.
  • More sophisticated offerings like platform as a service, or PaaS (formed by the addition of server operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and Unix) and software as a service, or SaaS (such as e-mail and security services offered by telcos and ICPs like Google) are currently offered by fewer operators, but will grow significantly by 2013.

All the Infonetics survey respondents are knowledgeable purchase decision-makers at service providers in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), Asia Pacific, and North America that together represent 20 percent of the world's telecom carrier revenue and 21 percent of the world's telecommunications service provider capital expenditure (capex).
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