By Daniel Hunter

Tablets are having a ‘Marmite’ effect on the leading CIOs across the country. Half (50 per cent) of CIOs at mid-sized organisations are considering offering staff tablets instead of laptops for hot-desking schemes. Whilst at the same time, 43 per cent across all companies believe if tablets were to be banished from the office, there’d be very little impact.

Although businesses are split on the usefulness of tablets, the importance of laptops and PCs is certainly on the decline. One in ten businesses now believe they could operate without a PC (15 per cent) or laptop (14 per cent).This has been reflected in the sales of PCs, down 4.9 per cent compared to the same period last year. Gartner believes this is further proof the ‘PC era’ is faltering.

With decisions on the kind of hardware to give employees up in the air, CIOs are at least in agreement about what benefits they’re looking for from new technology. Over half (54 per cent) believe it’ll allow for more remote working and 39 per cent think it’ll help businesses be more flexible, helping to identify cost savings and implement new services quicker.

“We’re at a crossroads about which office hardware to invest in next. Clearly there’s a shift away from PCs, but it’s not clear yet if tablets are the heir apparent. Half of the market seems to be in favour of them, and the other half wouldn’t even notice if they weren’t around anymore," Duncan Higgins, director of product and marketing at Virgin Media Business, said.

“What we can say is that businesses want hardware that’ll free them from their traditional IT shackles. They want their workforce to be more flexible, and they want their business to be able to implement change more quickly. It strongly hints at a move towards mobile technology, but it’s up for grabs at the moment if this’ll be answered by tablets, laptops, or a hybrid of both.”

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