Someone challenged me recently asking whether the ‘standing worker economy’ is a real thing. To have an economy of anything implies cash flows revolving around a sustainable theme. It implies real businesses being built on a common foundation. Certainly there is an economy around products such as comfortable shoes, uniforms and utility belts, all which have stood the test of time. In a similar manner, mobile computing has established a foothold (so to speak) with workers from various industries that primarily do their jobs on their feet.
Businesses are discovering ways to simplify workflows. For example I recently went on a cruise and completed the check-in process outside the terminal with an agent using a Windows tablet. Then at a restaurant the hostess confirmed my reservation on a tablet, and once seated, the waiter used his own tablet to place the order. I have also witnessed Windows tablets used by flight attendants to manage food and drink service and even heard a car dealership on the radio pitching their tablet sales process. These examples merely scratch the surface for how the business world is changing -- and the PC ecosystem is changing right along.
With help from Intel and Microsoft, PC makers are offering a wide variety of tablets to address needs ranging from devices you fit in an apron to ruggedized tablets you might find in a delivery truck. Windows 8.1 provides a common experience and familiar IT capabilities across the entire spectrum of computing. The vast array of hardware choices is made possible by Intel® Atom™ processors for ultra-mobile devices and Intel® Core™ processors for performance-hungry applications.
For example, the tablet in the aforementioned cruise terminal was a Dell Venue 11 Pro while its 8-inch counterpart (Venue 8 Pro) was the perfect fit for the restaurant use case. Both systems feature an Intel quad-core Z3000 series Atom Processor. Similar Atom tablets from HP, Lenovo and others are currently deployed in hospitals, schools, airports, banks, factories, restaurants and retail stores where a thin, light-weight system with long battery life accelerates a specific workflow. With Windows 8.1, these tablets offer the best in compatibility whether it’s PC apps, back-end systems, full Internet or even peripherals. Tablets based on Intel Core processors supplement these advantages with performance to handle the most demanding mobile computing tasks. There are standing worker scenarios in healthcare, financial services, or energy where HD graphics, 3D modeling and simulations are needed out in the field. Tablets from manufacturers like Motion, Tablet Kiosk, Xplore and Panasonic deliver desktop-like performance in rugged enclosures with a wealth of application-specific accessories. There really seems to be an Intel-based device out there for every mobile workflow.
The applications and services transforming the workplace are the final indicator of the standing worker economy. Developers, system integrators and internal IT shops are investing in software that enables businesses to take advantage of the latest hardware innovations. Whatever we choose to call it, the role of tablets in business is very real and so are the productivity benefits for workers everywhere. For more information, feel free to explore the Tablet Content Library.