Laptops lose out as tablets take over
Research from EE reveals that more than half (52 percent) of UK workers say tablets will replace laptops in the workplace within ten years. Almost a third (31 percent) said that workplace laptop usage is declining, and 24 per cent of workers have now transitioned to tablets.
Businesses are also keeping tablets for longer, with 30 percent keeping their tablets for over three years. In response to this changing behaviour, EE is launching the UK’s first 36-month tablet plan for businesses, a cost-effective tariff that better reflects how workers are using tablets. The plan will save subscribers approximately 25 percent per month in comparison to the 24-month plan, as well as providing businesses with flexible options to meet their business needs.
Sailing holiday provider Sunsail is deploying ruggedised 4G tablets from EE as well as digital form and data capture app Canvas to improve the way it runs day-to-day processes including marketing, customer relations and inventory management.
Sunsail’s digitised systems have led to more efficient inventory and safety check processes. This saves time every time a yacht is taken out, which over the course of a busy season, will save in excess of £6,000 in labour. It is also more efficient and sustainable than dealing with paperwork. This saves over £3,000 in copying, toner and paper annually and helps to protect Sunsail’s reputation of being the only yacht charter company in the UK to hold ISO20121 for Sustainable Event Management.
Simon Boulding, Director at Sunsail, says: “We’ve used 4G tablets and EE’s smart forms bundle with Canvas to improve the way we work, replacing our old paper-based forms and manual procedures for everything from customer relations and performing checks on our boats as they come in and go out. Since introducing tablets into the business, we’ve seen a 60 percent increase in customer engagement and we predict we will save over £10,000 per year on labour and direct costs – directly benefiting our bottom line
Despite most existing tablet tariff plans lasting two years, the research reveals that 30 percent of tablet owners have had their device for more than three years. This length of ownership outstrips that of phones, and is supported by recent research by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners indicating that the refresh cycle of a tablet is comparable to that of a laptop, rather than a smartphone.
In response to this changing behaviour, EE is launching the UK’s first 36-month tablet plan to provide additional flexibility specifically for small business customers and complement existing shorter term plans*. The plan is more cost-efficient for businesses, saving subscribers approximately 25 percent per mensem in comparison to the 24-month plan, as well as providing businesses with flexible options to meet their business needs.
SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data
SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation.
“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.
In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”
Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.
Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”
SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”
With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.
“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”
Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.
“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”