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iPad demise will make cloud sales tougher

iPad demise will make cloud sales tougherThis week, emarketer released its latest research on tablet usage in the UK.

Given that over 90% of UK business people use an iPad today, emarketer’s news of its downfall presents an early warning signal to managed service providers delivering worker mobility solutions.

emarketer’s forecast for the iPad

Since its introduction in 2010, the iPad has dominated this segment—and as recently as the end of 2013 accounted for 57.0% of all tablet users in the country. This is set to change this year as tablet ownership expands further beyond early adopters and into the general population, which is turning to lower-priced alternatives such as Tesco’s Hudl and Amazon’s Kindle Fire. In 2012, the iPad saw phenomenal growth of 125.0%, but eMarketer forecasts that this year, the growth rate for iPad users will drop dramatically to 3.1% and will stay in single digits through 2018.

Why the forecasted fall in iPad users matters to cloud providers

More people expect to bring their own devices into the workplace. This is particularly true of younger workers. By 2020, we could have five generations in the workplace. Traditionalists staying loyal to their iPads working alongside younger colleagues will all expect a seamless user experience from their IT teams. This is the nub of the problem, underlined clearly by recent Larato research among a significant number of Chief Information Officers (CIOs). We asked them:-

  • What main benefits do you seek from managed service providers?
  • What key challenges do you want cloud service providers to help you overcome?

Their answers show that managed applications will become more complex to buy and sell:-

  • Half of the CIOs surveyed move their applications to the cloud to gain better worker flexibility and mobility.
  • 70% of them believe that there is significant room for improving the quality of the user experience they deliver and want cloud providers to innovate services that will help deliver better quality experiences across a changing and ageing workforce.

What action can service providers take now?

What should you do? A good place to start is to establish structured customer listening programmes. Understanding how your customers’ workforce demographics are expected to change will help you to plan and innovate your service roadmaps more efficiently and cost effectively. Don’t underestimate how much of a challenge this will be – the structured element of the listening is critical to gaining the right insights.