Tablets may be a hot commodity for business users, but getting access to the right apps, data, and security controls is hard to come by, according to a new survey released last week by client virtualization solutions provider NComputing Inc. and Dimensional Research, a market research firm.

In a survey that polled about 300 IT professionals from small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) of 100 to 2,000 employees, 83 per cent of respondents said giving their employees business apps and data for their mobile devices would give their company a boost. Beyond that, 97 per cent said they felt giving employees access to their data and applications whenever and wherever they needed it would make them more effective.

However, as encouraging as that sounds, 63 per cent of respondents said tablet users want more access to these apps and data – a request their IT departments just can’t fulfill. These barriers to adoption could be one reason why just 52 per cent of respondents said less than a quarter of their employees were equipped with tablets.

For one thing, 86 per cent of IT professionals polled said there were challenges in giving employees access to Windows applications while they were using tablets. Forty-one per cent said they also had some issues with trying to make Windows applications compatible with their employees’ mobile devices, with another 34 per cent saying they had a poor experience trying to run Windows applications on tablets.

Another 75 per cent of them added they had some reservations with the bring your own device (BYOD) trend, given it would make it harder to ensure their organizations’ data was secure. That being said, 56 per cent of respondents said their organizations were allowing BYOD into the workplace as their employees were using their tablets for work.

“While small and mid-sized businesses continue to witness rapid tablet adoption, the research shows IT professionals still face daunting challenges in securely delivering legacy business applications to new, modern tablets,” said Diane Hagglund, senior research analyst for Dimensional Research, in a statement.

“Survey respondents widely acknowledge that tablet adoption provides considerable business impact, but more work clearly needs to be done in order to address their needs and fulfill the business promise.”

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