No longer relegated to the role of nifty little entertainment devices, tablets are widely used for business.
From data entry in the field to the cash register at the latest fashion retailer, tablets offer a wealth of potential for businesses looking to embrace mobility and customer engagement.
Here are just some of the ways tablets are used effectively in business.
Business and education is a major driver of the tablet market, and it’s a trend being readily embraced by manufacturers. Big names like Apple now have high spec, mid-sized tablets designed just for business and education.
Figures indicate business demand for Apple iPads is now outstripping independent consumers, with information access, mobile point of sale, and customer service all driving sales.
It's turning around the past few years of slump for the company, with the New York Times noting nearly half of all iPads are now bought by corporations and governments, equating to service and hardware revenue of $25 billion.
And it’s not just Apple seizing the opportunity. The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and Samsung Galaxy Tab ProS are also on the list of elite models appealing to commercial use.
So how exactly are they used?
In the field
In an era when we’re switched on, tuned in and delivering work anywhere, anytime, the tablet is the perfect device for mobility and convenience. With many models now boasting a stylus and purpose-built keyboard case, they allow workers in a variety of fields to operate on the go.
From the insurance assessor inputting data at the scene of a house fire to the mobile mechanic tracking jobs and the office worker filing a quick report in transit, tablets offer a freedom that even laptops can’t match.
The trend is well catered to courtesy of a host of Cloud software that allows data to be stored and accessed in real time, no matter the location.
And it’s not just outside the office where tablets are taking hold. In the boardroom or in the architect’s design studio they’re a go-to tool for taking notes, reviewing proposals and providing interactive reports.
At the counter
Mobile Point of Sale or mPOS is one of the fastest growing areas for tablet use. Research and consultancy firm Grandview Research tips the general mPOS market is only set to boom further, growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 18% from 2016 to 2024.
Predominantly driving it are the retail and hospitality sectors, with a new generation of apps making it easier than ever before to download point of sale software, so be sure to get your hand on a BossTab tablet stand.
One of the major benefits retailers and the hospitality sector are recognizing is the capability to take the register and information to the customer. Need to know if it's available at another store? Grab the tablet and check. Need to order tableside? Again it's simple. Or if retailers are looking to shorten the queue, take the mobile register with you for ordering and payments.
Stroll into your bank, café or local government office and increasingly technology is making its presence felt. Café's offer tablets to occupy clientele over a quick cuppa. Banks have one on standby for customers needing to access their accounts online, while local government agencies using them to take payments, identify a position in a queue or simply spruik services.
They’re the terminals used in libraries to look up books, the go-to gadgets for maps at museums and shopping malls, and the technology used at real estate agents to scroll through new listings.
This kiosk usage also presents a further opportunity for retailers looking to engage their clientele in store by offering an access point for logging in and registering loyalty details or peruse the latest catalogue.
It’s not just information that tablets are serving up either, providing a very real tool for services like automated check-in. Mounted on a stand, they offer the convenience of skipping the queues at hotels, airlines or even conferences.
Kick back, relax and enjoy the inflight entertainment courtesy of a tablet. That’s been the mantra for leading airlines like Qantas for the past few years, with the airline first turning to iPads in 2012.
Since then they've been rolling them out, with further iPad Minis purchased for Australian domestic routes in 2015.
The devices offer in-flight entertainment including movies, TV, audio and more.
Whether it’s better engaging customers, working in the field or taking the cash register to the consumer, tablets are now a common tool for business, and getting better and better at their role. For business, they offer the potential to provide better customer service and worker flexibility in an era when these two factors are an expectation, no longer a luxury.