Dell is confident IT departments will continue purchasing desktop and laptop computers for business users, despite growing demand for tablets and consumer devices.
Analyst Gartner predicts that, by 2013, 80% of businesses will support their workforce using tablet devices such as the Apple iPad. But Kirk Schell, executive director of business product marketing at Dell said: "We don't see tablets as replacing PCs but as being supplementary."
In an interview with Computer Weekly on the release of a new Latitude business laptop range, Kirk Schell said IT departments will have to support a "sea of devices" used by employees but will always need business-class PCs and support to provide data protection and security.
The new range of products are targeted at "Generation Y" - tech-savvy young users - offering unified communications and video chat, as well as durability and field quality.
Multi-touch screens, a feature of Windows 7, will also be available on premium products.
The Latitude devices also include a type 1 hypervisor, which allows corporate and personal systems to be separated on a single machine. In theory, an employee could legitimately use the same machine both at home and when logged in to the office network. The two environments are separated, allowing IT departments to maintain high levels of security when the laptop is being used for work.
Schell said Dell wants employees to "love" their laptops as much as their consumer products.
As the rate of PC upgrades has increased to between four and five years in companies, Schell added that Dell will add value between upgrades by growing its services portfolio.
Computer Weekly says...
While Dell is certain its new Latitude product line will appeal to a younger generation, its range of sturdy laptops may fail to match technological aspirations towards expensive devices, such as the Apple MacBook Air or Sony Vaio.
The ability to separate corporate and personal systems on the same PC goes some way in acknowledging employees' use of IT in work and at home.
The consumerisation of IT is bringing personal devices into the workplace but it remains to be seen if PC manufacturers can reverse the trend, making employees "love" their corporate technology and use it at home like they would a personal PC.