Businesses are increasingly investing in tablets for employees instead of replacing existing laptops, according to data in Harte-Hanks Ci Technology Database.
The recently updated data showed that laptop purchases had flattened out, while tablet purchases were on the rise, says Randy Ilas, general manager, market intelligence, Harte-Hanks.
Smartphone purchases by businesses, however, are not increasing. As most employees now have their own smartphones, employees are using their personal phones for work purposes as well. This is driving investments in cloud software, so employees can use their own devices on corporate systems, says Ilas.
This latest update of the CiTDB—which tracks technology spending—was collected from more than 8,000 telephone surveys across 280 industry segments that required more than 70,000 hours.
A key trend overall was increases on spending in software increasing, with hardware expenditures in many categories being flat. A surprising trend, however, was the lack of substantial increase in communications and networking software spending. “We thought we’d see more of that, with the increase of tablets being used for business,” says Ilas.
Spending related to converting documents to electronic files also increased, particularly in areas like healthcare and professional services, which have a lot of files like medical records or contracts to convert and store. Expenditures to protect the security of those records also increased. Tech spending in the manufacturing sector was down, says Ilas, because these businesses were hit hard by the downturn in the economy.
Larger companies were shown to be making bigger increases in tech spending. This is likely because they can spread out payments for these expenditures over a longer period of years, Ilas notes.