iPad usage by geography: More work than play

It’s been spoken about often of late. The rush by many organizations to utilize tablet devices – particularly Apple’s iPad – for Mobile Business Intelligence (BI) initiatives.

Dresner Advisory Services on the iPad for Mobile BI

To prove the point, we’ve referenced Dresner Advisory Services latest Mobile Business Intelligence Market Study which demonstrated a marked increase in the number of organizations selecting the iPad as their preferred device type for Mobile BI implementations. Thirty percent of respondents to the October 2011 study cited the iPad as their first choice platform.

Further, in the original 2010 study, 16 percent of respondents were using the iPad as part of their Mobile BI deployment, with 44 percent planning to integrate the iPad into their Mobile BI strategies over the ensuing 12 months. Notably, all iPad-related plans came to fruition, with 61 percent of 2011 survey respondents stating that the iPad is now in use within their organizations’ Mobile BI program. A further 21 percent plan on adopting the iPad for mobile reporting and analytics in 2012 and beyond.

Good Technology on BYOD programs and the iPad in the workplace

To further demonstrate the emergence of the iPad as a tool for the dissemination and consumption of business, or business-related, information, we drew from Good Technology’s State of BYOD Report. The October 2011 report found a considerable increase in BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) to work programs – compared to the initial January edition – with the number of companies supporting BYOD initiatives rising from 60 to 72 percent. A further 19 percent indicated their intention to implement BYOD strategies in the next 12 months. Only 9 percent said they had no plans to support BYOD. And significantly, the iPad was revealed as the dominant BYO device of choice, accounting for 96 percent of tablet activations in the third quarter of 2011. This marked trend is “rendering the traditional model of supporting only company-owned devices increasingly obsolete” and demonstrating a significant shift in how people consume information for professional purposes.

iPad for work, not play

But perhaps most surprisingly, an IDG survey – iPad for Business Survey 2012 – found that IT and business decision-makers use their iPads predominantly for work, not play.

Despite the enormous and continuing success of the iPad as a consumer device, many early predications about the iPad’s main uses have been inaccurate. Many considered the iPad, upon its introduction into the marketplace in 2010, to be a homebound, armchair companion. Citing McKinsey research, the study reveals that IT and business professionals are heavy users of the tablet device when on-the-go and in the office. Seventy-nine percent say they “always” user their iPad on the move, 54 percent “always” in the office, and 51 percent “always” at home. Conversely, only 31 percent said that they “always” use their iPad for entertainment purposes, and only 42 percent for personal communication.

iPad usage at work

Worldwide work-related iPad usage patterns reveal several interesting facts and trends.

So, on a world average:

  • 54% of professionals use their iPad at work
  • 89% of professionals use their iPad for work communication
  • 24% of respondents have their iPad supplied by their employer

However, these worldwide trends manifest themselves differently in different regions.

Africa

In Africa:

  • 70% of professionals use their iPad at work (compared to 54% worldwide)
  • 83% of professionals use their iPad for work communication (compared to 89% worldwide)
  • 47% of professionals have their iPad supplied by their workplace (compared to 24% worldwide)


iPad using professionals from Africa use their tablets predominantly for work purposes. Only 13 percent use their iPad for “entertainment” purposes – the lowest out of any of the study’s geographic groupings.

Africans also enjoy the highest incident of work-supplied iPads, with 47 percent of survey participants indicating that their employer provided their iPad.

Additionally, the percentage of African professionals who “always” use their iPad “on the move” (80%) is the third highest, behind Asia (97%) and Europe (90%).

Asia

In Asia:

  • 33% of professionals use their iPad at work (compared to 54% worldwide)
  • 97% of professionals use their iPad for work communication (compared to 89% worldwide)
  • 10% of professionals have their iPad supplied by their workplace (compared to 24% worldwide)


Interestingly, the number of Asian professionals who use their iPad at work (33%) is fairly low compared to the world average of 54 percent. Despite this, almost all (97%) respondents said that they used their iPad for conducting work-related communications (compared to 89% worldwide).

Asian employers rarely provide iPads for their workforce, with just 10 percent stating that their employer supplied their iPad. Asian business and IT professionals are also the most likely to use their iPad on-the-go, with 97 percent agreeing that they “always” use their iPad “on the move”.

Australia/New Zealand

In Australia and New Zealand:

  • 37% of professionals use their iPad at work (compared to 54% worldwide)
  • 87% of professionals use their iPad for work communication (compared to 89% worldwide)
  • 20% of professionals have their iPad supplied by their workplace (compared to 24% worldwide)


Again, Australian and New Zealand professionals utilize their iPad’s relatively conservatively within the workplace – 37 percent use their iPad at work compared to the world average of 54 percent.

Europe

In Europe:

  • 60% of professionals use their iPad at work (compared to 54% worldwide)
  • 80% of professionals use their iPad for work communication (compared to 89% worldwide)
  • 40% of professionals have their iPad supplied by their workplace (compared to 24% worldwide)


A significant proportion of European-based professionals operate work supplied iPads (40%) – second behind Africa (47%) – and are also more likely to “always” use their iPad at home (63%) than at work (33%).

Additionally, the percentage of European professionals who “always” use their iPad “on the move” (90%) is second behind Asian professionals (97%).

Middle East

In the Middle East:

  • 40% of professionals use their iPad at work (compared to 54% worldwide)
  • 97% of professionals use their iPad for work communication (compared to 89% worldwide)
  • 10% of professionals have their iPad supplied by their workplace (compared to 24% worldwide)


Middle Eastern professionals are less likely to use their iPad at work – 40 percent use their iPad in the office compared to the worldwide average of 54 percent. However, this may not be so surprising, given that only 10 percent own iPads supplied by their employer.

Seemingly by contrast, almost all (97%) of Middle Eastern respondents said that they used their iPad for work communication purposes.

North America

In North America:

  • 67% of professionals use their iPad at work (compared to 54% worldwide)
  • 93% of professionals use their iPad for work communication (compared to 89% worldwide)
  • 13% of professionals have their iPad supplied by their workplace (compared to 24% worldwide)


A strong percentage of North American survey participants use their iPad at work (67%). Again, a higher percentage of North American professionals (93%), compared to the world average (89%), utilize their tablets for work communication purposes.

Just as respondents from the USA have high, but not the highest, percentages of use for the first two metrics (Use of iPad at work, and, use of iPad for work communication), North American professionals experience a low (13%), but not the lowest (10% in Middle East and Asia), rate of employer supplied iPads.

South America

In South America:

  • 70% of professionals use their iPad at work (compared to 54% worldwide)
  • 87% of professionals use their iPad for work communication (compared to 89% worldwide)
  • 30% of professionals have their iPad supplied by their workplace (compared to 24% worldwide)


iPad owning professionals from South America use their tablets predominantly for work purposes – 70 percent use their iPad at work (equal highest with African respondents).