Seven IoT Predictions for 2017 - Part IV: Tablets Taking the Reins

Alex Brisbourne

It’s no surprise that tablets have become popular with consumers over the last 5-8 years – the ability to have the latest movies, games and other apps at your fingertips, regardless of location, is exciting to buyers and brings the digital experience to all aspects of life. While tablets are great for entertainment purposes, they are also incredibly useful and, in the past, have been highly underutilized in the mobile workforce; but I believe 2017 is going to be the year that the tablet finally cements its footing and is seen as a legitimate business tool in the Machine-to-Machine and Internet of Things space.

Tablets provide a tangible link between IoT/M2M “vision” and “execution.” On the human experience side, field services positions have long been considered jobs where people find a high degree of meaning in their work. Increased integration of tablets into the mobile workplace can bring even more satisfaction to those already employed in the sector, and push net new job seekers to the calling. According to a recent survey by Field Technologies Magazine, 38 percent of employees claim the use of mobile devices at work has contributed to increased work efficiency and job satisfaction (and the percentage is expected to rise each coming year). When considered in that context, it is easy to see tablet devices as a missing link between human workers and the ability to derive tangible, near-term returns from the IoT.

Tablets pack a ton of computing oomph and task-oriented usability into a small and convenient package. The devices are lightweight, and candidly so are laptops, but there are times in a deskless worker’s day where a laptop is just not practical. For example, it is difficult to remain in a standing position and reasonably expect to accomplish work on a laptop. Or, for home healthcare professionals, it can be distracting to take notes about a patient or enter data from the visit on a laptop, yet still give proper attention to the patient. The tablet form-factor goes well beyond just being lightweight; they are also right-sized to be toted anywhere, and the touch-optimized interface renders them usable in virtually any position. They don’t require a tabletop work station.

A core strength of tablet devices – and one that invigorates their value in business – is that, by design, they are able to connect by virtually every means available. As compared to laptops, they are not dependent on Wi-Fi; on the contrary, they are built to be network-flexible.

For the mobile workforce, this is a vital differentiator. To be at their best, employees must be able to establish a direct connection to their home database or cloud network on the fly, at any time, regardless of location. And, in the context of employees becoming a conduit for IoT services, their devices need likewise to have “always on” reception for data that may be flowing from assets in the field. The only way to serve this dual purpose, unconditionally across any geography, is with a device that can connect by a variety cellular technologies including GSM, HSPA, CDMA, EV-DO and LTE. 

When you mix efficiency, security and ease-of-use all on a small device that weighs less than two pounds, you’re destined for great things. The tablet’s success doesn’t and shouldn’t stop at providing hands-on entertainment; instead, it should be used across every vertical, in every way possible to ensure businesses and workforces are reaching their full potential. Based on these conclusions, KORE has developed a managed tablet solution designed to make this a reality for you and your company. Operating on the always-secure and seamless KORE network, KORE-powered tablets will empower your field service workers be more effective, saving you time and money. Call us today at 888-994-5856 to learn more.

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