When 80% of Work Can be Done on a Tablet

The new collaboration between IBM and Apple, and Microsoft's new announced strategy to focus on productivity naturally raises the question of how often someone at work could do all, or the vast bulk of all that work using only a tablet or a smartphone. 

IBM, Accenture, Salesforce.com and Worday are among enterprise technology suppliers working to help big firms create mobile apps that complement or replace PC programs. 

The success of such programs in many cases will depend on the type of work tasks conducted by people.

One might argue that a CEO could, as Apple CEO Tim Cook claims, do 80 percent of all his work on an iPad. In part, that is because most of what CEOs at large firms do is communicate with people and review content. They rarely have to create such content, which might require a PC.

Conversely, field service and sales forces also likely can use tablets and smartphones to conduct most of their computing-related or app-related work. Some customer service reps might also be able to do so.

Many sales professionals in the field likewise might be able to do so. 

Though some say tablets will be used, more frequently, to create content, not simply interact with it, at the moment it remains the case that jobs where existing content needs to be retrieved or viewed, with simple transactional operations, are best suited to replacement of PCs with tablets or smartphones. 

That especially is true for "in the field" apps and operations. 

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