According to research by Morgan Stanley, more the half of all CIOs purchased tablet computers for their companies in 2011, and more than two thirds plan to do so this year. Though this number is probably still low compared to the number of professionals using smartphones in business, it’s nothing to scoff at, especially with the general population’s fast-growing adoption of this mobile technology.
When it comes to business, tablets provide a number of benefits, including ease of travel. However, technical know-how and creativity have allowed businesses and professionals to begin using tablets in even more unique and innovative ways.
Here are four ways professionals are using this new form of mobile technology to simplify their everyday tasks:
Interactive Sales Presentations
Unlike laptops, which are designed for one person viewing, tablets provide a portable, easy-to-set-up option for interactive presentations. Tablets also allow salespeople to make changes to contracts and other documents during in-person meetings with clients. Because of this new technology, salespeople can present an on-the-spot, easy-to-understand picture of what customers will receive without printing a new contract.
One-Step Customer Database
Have a customer database you’d like to expand? Are you interested in streamlining the process of updating and submitting customer information? Businesses, like Goodyoga, are using tablets to allow customers to fill out waivers, liability forms and share their email addresses right from a tablet—instead of filling out a paper form, which would have to be manually entered or scanned. Not only does using a tablet for updating a customer database help streamline the process of collecting customer information, but it also tends to be more enjoyable for customers.
Synced Company Calendar
Some small businesses are finding iPads and other tablets helpful in reducing scheduling hassles. The Beauty Room, a hair salon in Minneapolis, uses an iPad to provide a calendar that can be synced to employee and client mobile devices. This technique utilizes some of the unique properties of mobile and provides an organized, universal calendar that can be updated and viewed by multiple people simultaneously.
Tablets as Point-of-Sale
Calendars aren’t the only way that small businesses are utilizing tablets. In some cases, tablets are also replacing cash registers and other points-of-sale (POS). Although iPads and similar tablets were not manufactured as point-of-sale solutions, applications like ShopKeep allow small business owners to turn their iPad into a POS that does everything from creating discounts on purchases, to providing a place to swipe credit cards.
Tablets provide a world of possibilities for businesses large and small, however, as with many kinds of new technology, the extent of these possibilities has yet to be fully explored. Have a business problem? An iPad (and some innovation) might be your solution!
SOUND OFF: What new and innovate ways have you seen businesses implement iPads and other tablets?
Like this article? Here are two more perspectives on using iPads for business from Fusion bloggers: