Tablets do work better than laptops for some people and tasks. Tailor the device to the workload.
But enterprise tablet use is still immature, haphazard, and user-driven. Sure, an iPad makes a handy alternative to a bulky laptop for keeping up with email on the go, but its capabilities enable so much more.
That said, it's a mistake to think tablets can do everything, says Dan Kerzner, senior VP for mobile at MicroStrategy. While there are cases where they can replace PCs, it's usually just for select tasks, not an employee's entire environment. He likens tablets entering the enterprise to microwave ovens in the kitchen: "People found that the microwave was great for macaroni and cheese, but not for chicken."
To make tablets work for the business, IT organizations must define a policy: Who, if anyone, gets a company-issued tablet? Which personally owned devices are allowed on the network, and is a mobile device management client required? Which tasks and applications will IT support? Who pays for 3G/4G? Base your plan on these five strengths of each platform.
1. Size and power: Any road warrior who moves to a tablet after schlepping around a laptop, power brick, various accessories, and appropriately sized ballistic nylon laptop case instantly realizes the beauty of tablets: portability. The newest iPad is less than 0.4 inch thick and weighs just under a pound and a half. Even the sveltest laptop, the 11-inch MacBook Air, weighs a pound more and is 0.3 inch thicker at the hinge.
The sorry state of laptop battery life is such that you're lucky to get ...