Mobility drives demand for tablets from Indian SMBs

Infotech Lead India: SMBs in India are embracing mobility by rapidly adopting tablets to drive productivity and business velocity. Nearly two thirds of PC-owning SMBs in India have plans to purchase one or more tablets in the next 12 months.

A study by AMI Partners,titled “2013 India SMB Mobility Landscape, Opportunity Assessment & Outlook” indicates that Indian SMBs utilize tablets mostly for productivity suite applications like viewing and editing documents on the go. The ability to access and work on files/documents on the go through cloud applications is a significant growth driver for tablet usage.

A previous study by AMI’s study found a connection between early tablet adoption and cloudsoftware usage. SMBs that deployed tablets were 20 percent more likely to use hosted software applications.

Users frequently use applications such as online file storage, CRM and also handle finance/accounting-related tasks. Tablets also simplify e-mail correspondence, messaging, accessing contact information and calendar functions.

AMI noted roughly 40 percent higher revenue growth during the past 12 months among mobile SMBs. These SMBs were the ones with one or more employees that work remotely at least four days a week, compared with companies bound to the physical office.

The Indian Government proactively drove the launch of the Android based tablet Aakash, which was targeted at students but met strong demand from local consumers as well. India telecom service providers are eager to increase average revenues per user as cash conscious SMBs adopt tablets and move to higher data plans offered by vendors. Almost all telecom providers offer competitively priced 3G data plans.

Over three quarters of India SMBs use Wi-Fi or some kind of data plan to connect to the internet via their tablets. This is likely to lead to high double digit growth rates in spending on tablet data plans as well.

According to a previous study by AMI Partners, tablet adoption by SMBs will grow by 1000 percent by 2015. AMI senior associate Michael McDonald predicts that tablet adoption among smaller businesses will hit somewhere between 30 percent and 35 percent by 2015.The iPad dominates the SMB space. McDonald sees tablets as complementary devices rather than threats to desktops and laptops in the workplace.

It was found that the United States has driven much of the early adoption, followed by western Europe. Global tablet prices are expected to drop as much as 50 percent by 2013.

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