An increasing number of small businesses are purchasing media tablets for their staff as they aim to mobilise their workforces, it has been suggested.
Research conducted by Spiceworks, which surveyed 1,356 businesspeople in 100 countries around the world, revealed that the advent of tablets is encouraging small companies to spend more on IT.
The study highlighted a seven per cent increase in the size of small business IT budgets – from an average of £96,000 to £102,000 since the second quarter of the year.
It appears that tablet devices – such as the Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy and Google Nexus – are encouraging firms to up their investment.
The devices have proved extremely popular with consumers in the home since the launch of the iPad two-and-a-half years ago.
And this had prompted many users to bring their tablets into work with them, or persuade their employers to issue company-owned devices.
Lingering security and compliance fears over the use of personal tablets may be encouraging many companies to buy their own fleet of mobile technology solutions.
Some 53 per cent of small business IT pros surveyed by Spiceworks said they support company-issued tablets on their network.
An additional 12 per cent are planning to offer employee access to tablets from early 2013 – meaning more UK employees should be able to work on the move.
Among those IT departments, 85 per cent support Apple iPad devices, while 59 per cent support Android-based tablets.
Spiceworks said the acceleration of company-issued tablets has started to close the gap previously seen between tablets and smartphones.
“Smartphones are currently issued and supported by 59 per cent of small businesses, with an additional 12 per cent planning to support smartphones in the first half of next year,” the company reported.