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For most of this year there has been little said in praise of tablets with the attention instead moving to detachables and 2-in-1s with the iPads and its imitators appearing to fall out of fashion.
But the tablet looks like enjoying a resurgence next year as customers have identified it as being one of the crucial tools for digital transformation. The hardware is being seen as a useful tool in the age of mobile working.
According to IDC among buying tablets is listed as one of the priorities for 2017 by European enterprises, with some verticals, including education, hospitality, government, and transport, ranking buying tablets in the top three things they want to do next year.
The devices are being viewed positively because they provide the mobility that customers are looking for as more staff start to hot desk and connect to wifi in their own offices, as well as out in the field.
There will be some blurring of the lines here between traditional slate like tablets and the convertibles because of the definition of what a 'tablet' looks like.
But there is no doubting that there are investment plans being made by firms to deploy hardware that gives staff the chance to increase their mobility as part of moves to digitally transform organisations.
"As mobility and digital transformation strategies drive the mobilization of specific industry applications," says Marta Fiorentini, research manager, IDC EMEA personal computing, "companies continue to look at tablets to harness the benefits of mobile data-enabled workers, support new digital business processes, and maximise engagement with always-connected customers."
IDC is also expecting the increase in tablet sales to have s positive knock on for developers, particularly those delivering business apps."
Hardware is still important but applications have become crucial and a key differentiator to achieve the business objectives behind tablet deployments," said Fiorentini.
The early signs are that digital transformation is going to be a big driver of IT investment next year with software and services expected to dominate the agenda.