The latest International Data Corporation (IDC) study on tablets in enterprises reveals that tablet penetration is accelerating in companies in the U.K., France, and Germany, and is expected to reach more than 15% of the total client device base by 2018, up from 6% in the second half of 2014.

More than 10 million tablets are already used today in the commercial space in Western Europe across both small and large enterprises, supporting a constantly growing number of business activities. As adoption gathers pace, IDC expects more than 40 million tablets and 2-in-1s to be sold over the next five years to represent 1 out of 4 business computing devices in use by 2019.

“The increasing mobility of the workforce and digitalization of the work process is urging businesses, regardless of their size, to reconsider their computing infrastructure,” said Marta Fiorentini, senior research analyst, IDC EMEA Personal Computing. “The drivers of change are efficiency and productivity gains. In this increasingly mobile and digital environment, tablets are emerging as an ideal tool to provide employees with seamless access to content and data anywhere and anytime.”

Adoption differs across verticals, with the transport sector, a quintessentially mobile industry, leading in terms of penetration as tablets already represent almost 12% of all computing devices (including traditional PCs, company-owned smartphones, and specialized handheld and point-of-sale devices). In the remaining sectors, penetration ranges between less than 5% in government and 9% in distribution (including retail and wholesale). However, it is striking that in all verticals adoption is accelerating. In fact, 70% of the interviewed companies are planning or are likely to purchase tablets in the next two years and the vast majority of them expect the tablets’ share over their total client devices to increase by 2018. The aviation industry, for which fuel is the largest operational expenditure, will remain a key beneficiary of the shift away from heavy traditional paper material, but growth is anticipated to gain momentum in the other verticals too, especially in hospitality and in some pockets of the public sector. In these three sectors, tablet penetration is expected to exceed 17% by 2018.

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