Over the past few years, organizations of every stripe have come to recognize the benefits of workplace mobility, in the process, moving from a haphazard collection of devices carried by a few employees toward comprehensive policies that encompass the entire enterprise. Today, almost every professional carries a mobile device of one type or another; by the end of this year, the number of mobile workers worldwide is estimated to surpass 1 billion.

IT leaders understand that selecting the right form factor for their mobile strategy is essential, and many are re-examining their mobile computing environments and approved devices to determine whether they produce optimal results and maximum return on investment. Although laptop PCs provide a high level of portability, and netbooks and smartphones are unsurpassed in their convenience, tablet computers are rapidly moving into the mainstream.

But not all tablets are created equal. Organizations should assess such devices with an eye toward the type of work to be performed, and should look for high levels of usability, flexibility, reliability, durability and security.