If you had any doubts that more people are using smartdevices, Gartner’s new study should eliminate any lingering uncertainty. Accordingto the analyst firm, smart phone and tablet use is surging in the enterprise,changing the very nature of how we do business.

It’s All About Mobility    

New statistics from Gartner show that the mobile device market is still strong. Analysts project 821 million smart phones and tablets will be purchased globally in 2012. The number is expected to exceed the one billion mark in 2013. Despite this enormous growth, Gartner notes that the PC is not dead; it will continue to play a role in enterprise computing.

Tablets are having a significant impact on the expansion of enterprise mobility. Gartner estimates that in 2012 purchases of tablets by businesses will reach 13 million units and will more than triple by 2016, to reach 53 million units.

Companies are not just buying iPads. Windows 8 will take third place in the tablet market after Apple and Android by 2016. Gartner believes this growth will largely be driven by business demand rather than consumers. Tablets and convertibles will be the way into businesses for Windows 8. Gartner estimates that the share of Windows 8 tablets in businesses will reach 39 percent in 2016.

Apple use remains strong, but Android is also making progress in the enterprise. The firm projects 56 percent of the smartphones businesses purchase in North America and Europe will be Android-based by 2016. This is a sizable increase from the 34 percent penetration the mobile OS has in 2012.

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What This Means

Although many technology leaders initially resisted the influx of devices into the enterprise, consumerization is continuing to spread, and the trend shows no signs of slowing. Gartner explained,

Over the past year, we have seen consumer preferences shaping not only the vendors’ landscape but also the way IT departments need to think about devices in the enterprise with BYOD becoming a part of the devices policy. "

The increasing use of mobile devices in the enterprise is about more than making users happy. It has been shown to significantly improve responsiveness and productivity.