Tablets are one way to ensure that employees can get work done while they’re out of the office, particularly if they are remote workers. A poll conducted by Sybase Inc. found that “working outside the office” is the No. 1 reason U.S. consumers give for their using a tablet. Half of those responding to the same poll said they are most likely to use a tablet to work on the go. On the other hand, laptops can do these things as well, although even the thinnest laptops are heavier than the lightweight and convenient tablets.
Many assume that replacing laptops with tablets is an economical move. In some cases, this assumption is correct. For example, the Kindle Fire averages $199, whereas the price of a laptop can range from $350 to $1,000 — sometimes even more. The Kindle Fire, however, doesn’t offer what a laptop does. With regards to work, you can check your email on it, but typing lengthy reports and analyzing data are more difficult than they would be on a laptop. If you are looking for a tablet with better business capabilities, you might have to be willing to spend about as much as you would for a laptop, if not more. The popular iPad starts at about $500 and can go up to $829; however, it has a long list of practical business apps that can help to compensate for the high price. These apps include business intelligence analytics apps, and IT dashboards, to name just two.
If you do decide that tablets can replace your company’s laptops, it will certainly take some easing into. It could be a viable strategy if you employ many remote workers or employees that are constantly in and out of the office. Still, tablets can be hard to work on for extended periods of time: Consider keeping desktops at office locations for employees who prefer them or who are working on a large project. Also remember that you will get what you pay for. A $200 tablet will not have the same functions as a premium tablet. Most importantly, listen to your employees. A fancy new technology is futile if nobody wants to use it.
Sarah Blanchette is a journalism student interning as an editorial assistant at TechTarget.]]>
Most of the time, I’m using one monitor to read source material while actively working in the second. Adding a second monitor can be like two hands washing dishes: The left hand might be scrubbing and the right hand might be rinsing, but you’re still doing one activity.
However, for other workers, working on two monitors might mean having a project open on one and their email and Facebook open on the second. In that case, true attention-splintering is taking place. A famous 2005 study found that email distraction can cause a decrease in functional IQ, akin to a whopping 10-point decrease overall. That’s worse than the impact of smoking marijuana. Ironically, the study was sponsored by a Hewlett-Packard, a major vendor of computer monitors.
Regardless, an easy way to increase employee retention is to give them excellent tools to do their job. If adding a second monitor is the thing that makes a worker — like me — happy, it’s a no-brainer. Whether it’s a productivity tool or a detriment to overall creativity is up for debate.
Out of curiosity, how many monitors do you have on your desk right now? What’s the ideal scenario for productivity? The comments are waiting to hear from you.]]>
IBM made history by selecting its first female CEO, Ginni Rometty. But Jena McGregor believes the way she was selected is what makes IBM a strategic leader in the IT industry.
Meg Whitman recently took over as CEO at HP, and with that, HP has decided to stay in the PC business after considering “strategic alternatives.” She released a statement explaining that “keeping the Personal Systems Group within HP is right for customers and partners, right for shareholders, and right for employees.”
Dropbox formally announced Dropbox for Teams for enterprises, but is it ready to compete with Box.net?
Tony Fadell, the former leader of the development of the iPod and iPhone, has a new project. Are you imagining the possibilities right now? He’s remade the thermostat. Seriously.
Where does the future of cloud computing lie? According to Jeff Belk, the cloud is going to need some help, and its future is in our hands.
Steve Jobs was one of the most strategic leaders and innovators in tech history, but how are the sales of his new biography? As you could have guessed, it’s already topped the charts and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.]]>
Ze cloud computing is all the rage in Europe. C’est la vie!
The next time you get sucked into a level on Angry Birds, don’t beat yourself up — addictive personalities can be the mark of a true leader, according to David J. Linden, a professor of neuroscience at The Johns Hopkins University.
One of the best ways to get creative is to cripple your own technology, at least for an hour or so.
Years ago, Isaac Asimov wrote about homes heated by CPUs, which forces us to question why we’re wasting all that heat in our data centers?
The bad economy can be good for innovation, unless you’re Borders bookstore, which is a good lesson on why we can’t ignore technological trends.
Holla for all the Mac fan kids in the room: Are you cowardly about Lion? Here are 10 reasons why you need to install OS X Lion ASAP, and then here are nine things you should do right after you install OS X Lion.]]>
Don’t expect any sympathy from Microsoft about the fact that you can’t upgrade to IE9 without moving off of XP. IE9′s senior director, Ryan Gavin, has no patience for any complaints. “You simply can’t build on something that is 10 years ago,” he said. Who can blame him? (And also, I’m starting to feel like a maiden aunt at a family reunion. XP was released 10 years ago! How is that possible? They grow up so fast.)
Anyone who has been around an IT shop for even a matter of days knows this is nothing new: We’re constantly in a state of innovating our systems while cursed with foundation apps that no longer work with this program or that plug-in. In my last role, at least once a week, one of my team members would complain that the production management database was broken. Even though I haven’t worked tech support in years, I usually diagnosed the problem without even leaving my desk. “You installed Flash, didn’t you?” I’d say, and they would assure me that they did not break my seemingly draconian rule of never, ever, ever installing Adobe or Java updates — and yet, when we’d take a closer look, they magically had an updated version of Flash sitting on their desktops.
They’d blush and get quiet — to say more would reveal that they had been clearly trying to watch videos on YouTube. Hey, “Charlie bit my finger” is hilarious, and I dare anyone to watch it without cracking a smirk, but the simple fact was our ancient collaboration tool got jacked up when YouTube helpfully guided them to update their Flash software and that single mouse click brought their job performance to a screeching halt.
Operating systems aside, I wonder how many other processes broke when thousands of employees installed the Mozilla Firefox 4 or IE9 releases. Last week, SearchCIO-Midmarket.com editorial director Scot Petersen wrote in a post about IT innovation that the ‘we’ve always done it this way’ philosophy will eventually hurt your business,” and here we see that sentiment being demonstrated by those scrambling to deal with these browser upgrades. CIOs dealing with “broke and busted” this week are paying the price by being stuck with outdated tech or upgrading systems before they were ready.
If Microsoft is telling people that it’s time to move on from one of its biggest business products, perhaps CIOs should take this as a cue to look at their legacy apps and get transition plans in place before it’s too late. Otherwise, they’ll forever find themselves racing to keep up while dragging years of outdated technology behind them.
Are you in the middle of a headache caused by the Mozilla Firefox 4 or IE9 releases? Hit the comments and commiserate with the group.]]>