Tablets are likely to become the primary computing experience for workers over the next few years. What will it take to successfully shift IT delivery to these devices given the security worries, legacy IT landscape, BYOD, and other issues?
A few weeks ago the IT analyst firm Forrester made what is probably the first major declaration that tablets will soon become the primary computing device for most users, even going so far as to say that they will ‘rule’ personal computing in the near future. While I think the numbers speak for themselves on this, I also believe that many organizations are either unready or unwilling to hear this yet.
Part of the reason for this avoidance is because of the substantial overhaul it will require IT departments to undergo, and major change is invariably painful and difficult. This retooling includes the full gamut of IT responsibilities: Infrastructure, architecture, processes, tools, skills, and governance, right when so many companies are also dealing with many other generational IT disruptions.
Another reason for unpreparedness is that the tablet revolution has largely become a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon...
...The real lesson is this: To get the primary advantages of tablets will require more than paving the old cowpath (i.e. merely conducting a literal translation of legacy IT to tablets.) Tablets are fundamentally different computing devices with entirely new capabilities. To get the real competitive advantage of the next-generation of end-user computing will require rethinking how tablets and their innate capabilities and strengths can be used to transform business processes. Location-awareness, always-connectedness, augmented reality, pervasive video/audio, and more can create highly situational and context-aware apps that hold the potential to provide hard business benefits. These benefits include boosting worker productivity, improving decision making, saving time, enabling more self-service, and reinventing business processes to operate in deeply integrated, highly immersive, and seamless new ways.
Suffice it to say that these changes -- BYOD and tablet computing -- are so disruptive that many companies' IT shops will have real difficulty making the shift.