Google's Schmidt 'surprised' by enterprise tablet adoption
Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt expressed surprise that businesses have moved so quickly to adopt tablets and said the paradigm shift is hastening the demise of the traditional enterprise software sales model pioneered by companies like Oracle.
Speaking last week at the Gartner Symposium/IT Expo 2013 in Orlando, Florida, Schmidt said tablets are changing the way companies purchase software--a transformation he didn't see coming. While in the past enterprises would buy new software licenses every few years, signing deals that covered more employees than needed and then growing into the contracts, Schmidt said businesses are now exploring new models like cloud computing.
"I was actually surprised by this. I didn't call this. Would the phone replace the PC? I figured employees would be using a PC and a phone," Schmidt said. Instead, "it looks to us like the majority of enterprise computing is being done on mobile devices, in particular on tablets. That broke the old model," Schmidt was quoted by Business Insider as saying.
Schmidt expects the shift from PCs to tablets will prompt enterprises to "dismantle" their existing technology, although he stopped short of saying that the change spells doom for enterprise software vendors. Last month, Oracle announced a series of integrated cloud-based solutions, including Oracle Database as a Service, Oracle Java as a Service and Oracle Infrastructure as a Service, which enable business customers to support a wider variety of workloads across connected devices.
Research firm IDC anticipates worldwide tablet shipments will reach 227.4 million units in 2013, up 57.7 percent year-over-year. The commercial segment is expected to drive 13 percent of tablet purchases this year, increasing from 10 percent in 2012, and is on pace to account for 20 percent of tablet sales in 2017.
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