Tablets are becoming the preferred way in which people engage with technology, says Taryn Cromie, sales manager at HansaWorld SA.
Does your enterprise resource planning solution work on your iPad? If it doesn’t, you should probably ask ‘why not?’ That’s because tablet computers are increasingly becoming the preferred way in which people like to engage with technology – and providing them with tools that they like using delivers a productivity benefit.
That’s according to HansaWorld South Africa sales manager, Taryn Cromie, who says as more tablet computers enter the market, staff are expecting to be able to use them in their lines of work.
“The new battlefield for enterprise software vendors is the tablet. As PC sales slowdown, tablet sales are shooting up, reflecting the fact that these devices are being chosen by more consumers. Those consumers are bringing their devices to work, expecting to be able to use them to drive their personal productivity, and get their work done faster and more conveniently,” says Cromie.
She points to figures from market researcher IDC, which shows 2012 world PC shipments were down by 6.4% on those sold in 2011. Meanwhile, 2012 tablet sales totalled 122 million units, up 74% over 2011’s 68.7 million units. That massive growth is set to continue: IDC says 2013 should see shipments of 172.4 million tablets, reaching over 282 million units by 2016.
“What these numbers mean is that the PC is no longer the device of choice for most people,” Cromie points out.As a result, she says vendors, included among them those that make business tools such as accounting and enterprise resource planning software, have to respond to the new way of technology interaction. “Standard apps which work on tablets should be readily available today. They should be available from the iStore, Google’s Play store or the Windows Marketplace. And they should enable customers to start with a single user system for their accounts, but scale all the way to a full-blown ERP system.”
There is urgency to do this, continues Cromie, as a new generation of workers which is growing up with iPads, Androids and Windows tablets, is going to enter the workplace soon. “Just like the ‘greenscreen’ made way for graphical user interface, the shift today is towards the more intimate and intuitive interaction with technology systems, which is enabled by tablet computers. That’s something the older generation is taking to, as evidenced by the growth in tablet sales – and something the younger generations will insist on in the workplace.”
The power of choice is just as important in a changing environment; Cromie points out that ‘bring your own device’, or BYOD, is emerging as a trend which savvy IT managers are embracing, rather than seeking to eliminate. “That’s because these managers know that helping people to use the technology they prefer results in an advantage to the company; they also know that preventing BYOD is likely an exercise in futility.”
That power of choice means ERP vendors should provide the flexibility not only to work on PCs or tablets, but also on any combination of Apple, Microsoft, Android or other operating systems.
“People today want technology and tools at work that they find easy and appealing to use. If your ERP vendor isn’t able to facilitate that now – ask yourself if your company really has the best system,” Cromie concludes.
HansaWorld provides an award-winning integrated business platform covering customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning and accounts, together with a wide selection of industry-specific solutions, to more than 75 000 clients in 110 countries aroud the world. The solutions are available in 29 languages, run on all major platforms and support mobile use via laptops, PDAs, Nokia smartphones and Apple iOS devices. HansaWorld is represented in many of the countries in Europe, Latin America, North America, Africa, Australia, Asia and the Middle East.
Black Book PR & Communications
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