Forrester Research Analyst Michael O’Grady says that if you don’t own a tablet yet, you probably will soon. In a new forecast on the tablet market, O’Grady and his team predict that 6 out of 10 consumers in North America will own a tablet by the year 2017. Worldwide, the report predicts sales of tablets will reach 381 units in 2017, resulting in a global installed base of 905 million units.
The report also says that companies will continue to ramp up their adoption of tablets in the workplace, with about 18 percent of all tablets bought by 2017 used exclusively for work. As this happens, the need for mobile device management tools will skyrocket – and so will the need for mobile printing solutions.
Forrester analyst J.P. Gownder wrote that while companies are now purchasing tablets for specific classes of workers – such as field salespeople and front-line customer support personnel – the number of employees who are bringing their own devices to work is exploding.
However, Forrester says the current mix of BYOD and company-issued tablets is also changing with a new model: companies sharing the cost of a tablet purchase with an employee who wants to be able to select a specific brand, with specific features. These picky consumers don’t want to risk letting the IT department dictate what brand of tablet they use, or whether they have options like an external keyboard, or what carrier provides their Internet access, so they’d rather buy their own device – or split the cost with an employer.
Jared Hansen, CEO of Breezy, agrees with the analysts who say that consumers remain the driving force in tablet adoption within corporate America. “With more and more employees selecting the brand of tablet they are using, the need for a secure way to allow these tablets to access company resources is becoming critical. We’re getting more and more inquiries from companies that need to provide access to secure printing from a very wide range of tablets. It’s something that mobile device management software tools often forget.
“The ability to enable a fleet of printers for secure printing from any mobile device in seconds is the primary reason that Breezy is becoming the mobile printing leader,” Hansen added.
As tablets pass the threshold from new technology (less than 50% consumer usage) to mainstream technology, the demand for secure wireless mobile print solutions will continue to grow. Forrester predicts that tablets will achieve 50% of the U.S., Canadian, Japanese, Hong Kong, and Korean markets in about three years (by the end of 2016 or beginning of 2017), with Europe lagging slightly behind with tablets becoming mainstream in 2019.
Photo credit: This photograph of a sales person using a tablet computer was offered on Flickr under a Creative Commons License.