Physical Mobility Drives Technology Mobility, Email Reigns Supreme

A majority of information technology decision makers (ITDMs) in tablet-using organizations across 10 countries say that tablets are used by employees who travel extensively or on-site employees who move throughout the office/facility. That’s just one of the stats recently compiled in our 2014 International Tablet survey released last week.

Snippet of infographic: Tablet usage study – global highlights

It proves out through quantifiable numbers some of the things we’ve been sharing in the stories of our customers.

“A tablet really gives a real estate agent mobile productivity. You can’t pick up your desktop computer and bring it out in the field,” Tom Flanagan, vice president of technology at Alain Pinel Realtors, recently told our Tech Page One.

And even when your employees travel no further than the parking lot, that type of mobility can make a difference.

“With the tablets our sales people can easily appraise cars for trade-in, search around the country for the exact car the customer wants in other dealers’ inventory, and even pull up crash ratings and other information on the competition right there in the lot,” Lisa Copeland, general manager of Fiat of Austin, told me earlier this year.

The purpose of our 2014 International Tablet survey is to gain insight and feedback from ITDMs around the world regarding several topics including their policies toward the use of tablets, the impact they have on their company and how well they are meeting their expectations. The countries were surveyed online by Harris Poll in summer 2014 and included in the study were U.S., U.K., India, Japan, China, Brazil, France, UAE/KAS, Russia, and South Africa.

While tablets can help save lives through innovative applications like Dell OEM Solutions customer Beyond Lucid Technologies’ MEDIVIEW™ Mobile, it may not be surprising that this study found email is the most frequently-named application for use on company-issued tablets in nine out of the 10 countries surveyed. Other top applications across the countries include: calendar or scheduling, word processing, cloud storage, spreadsheet, and messaging apps.

In all ten countries, a majority of ITDMs in tablet–using companies report that tablets are used as a companion device to smartphones. Only in Japan did a majority also say that tablets are used in place of smartphones (56 percent). Japan was also the most likely country for ITDMs to say tablets were not a standard part of their company’s IT offering. While less than 5 percent in almost each country say they neither offer nor allow tablets, that jumps to 17 percent in Japan.

When companies don’t make tablets a standard part of their IT device offering, security concerns are the top reason. But, surprisingly to me, the top security concern was simply loss of the tablet – with that ranking as a higher concern than hardware security (network breaches) or theft.

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There are tons more interesting statistics when you dig into the full report. There are even breakdowns by country, which enabled regional media to put together localized headlines such as:

For nine of the ten countries, majorities of ITDMs in tablet-using companies report that tablets have met the expectations their company had for them. And, in most of these countries a sizeable percentage reports that tablets have exceeded their expectations.

Do you use tablets in your business? In all the countries surveyed except for one, majorities of ITDMs in tablet-using companies report that tablet adoption has increased productivity in their company.

Read the full report to find out which one that is, and then let us know if any other elements of these survey results stand out to you!

About the Author: Laura Pevehouse

Laura Pevehouse was profiled as one of five “social media mavens” in the March 2009 issue of Austin Woman Magazine and named an AdWeek’s TweetFreak Five to Follow. She has been part of the Dell organization for more than 15 years in various corporate communications, employee communications, public relations, community affairs, marketing, branding, social media and online communication roles. From 2014-2018, Laura was Chief Blogger/Editor-in-Chief for Direct2DellEMC and Direct2Dell, Dell’s official corporate blog that she help launch in 2007. She is now a member of the Dell Technologies Chairman Communications team. Earlier in her Dell career she focused on Global Commercial Channels and US Small and Medium Business public relations as part of the Global Communications team. Prior to that, she was responsible for global strategy in social media and community management, as well as marcom landing pages, as a member of Dell’s Global SMB Marketing, Brand and Creative team. When she was part of Dell’s Global Online group, Laura provided internal consulting that integrated online and social media opportunities with a focus on Corporate Communications and Investor Relations. She managed the home page of, one of the top 500 global web sites in Alexa traffic rank, and first brought web feeds and podcasts to the ecommerce site. In her spare time she led Dell into the metaverse with the creation of Dell Island in the virtual world Second Life. Laura has earned the designation of Accredited Business Communicator from the International Association of Business Communicators, and received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Louisiana State University. Before joining Dell Financial Services in 2000, she worked at the Texas Workforce Commission and PepsiCo Food Systems Worldwide.