There was a study done to evaluate whether or not small businesses are utilizing the benefits that are to be had when it comes to using tablets in work. The study concluded that small businesses are losing out in terms of productivity and cost savings. Less than half of small businesses are taking advantage of tablet benefits, compared to over 65% of larger businesses. Small businesses, for the purposes of this study, were defined as companies with less than 100 employees.

Benefits of Tablets

Among the reasons cited for businesses of any size to utilize tablets, the most popular of them was for sales purposes. Sales represented about 50% of the responses. About 30% of them reported using tablets to reduce the amount of printed papers that were needed. Another 20% or so said that they use tablets for work collaboration. In the survey, they also reported that 60% of responses came from people using Apple’s iOS platform. 20-30% used the Android platform, and about 10% used a Blackberry operating system.

75% of the respondents indicated that tablets have increased productivity. As a matter of fact, this figure was consistent through each group. Small businesses, medium businesses, large businesses, and government decision makers alike indicated that productivity increased as a result of using tablets in business. So why aren’t more businesses jumping on board?

Many small business owners buy a tablet, but end up using more for personal reasons. It’s used more for checking email and viewing certain documents. The problem seems to have to do with the fact that tablets are great for consuming information and data, but tablet manufacturers and operating systems have had a hard time making them good at creating rather than consuming. Another big reason has to do with the fact that they lack keyboards and mice, peripherals that have long been required for many of the business applications that are out there. Until these applications adapt more to tablets and to the way that we interact with them, it’s going to be difficult to incorporate them into many business activities. Apple has done a pretty good job of that with its suite of iWork applications designed specifically for the iPad.

When it comes to business- or industry-specific applications, larger corporations are being serviced by software developers before smaller businesses are. That’s do to a number of factors. Although, it may just have to do with the limited number of software developers for these types of applications. If that’s the case, it should just be a matter of time until smaller businesses are catered to in this way. It’s unclear if it has more to do with resources available to software developers or if it has to do with light demand on the side of smaller businesses for this type of productivity.

There are also certain industries that have gotten more attention than others, regardless of business-size. For example, medical-related businesses have seen a multitude of uses for tablets in work. There are a number of apps that perform functions ranging from actual medical applications to improvements in data and record keeping about patients and employees.