Tablets take the paper off the boardroom table

Ben Dowd, Business Director at Telefónica UK, shows how tablets are saving time, money and paper in the O2 boardroom

Since the early days of PCs, rumours of an achievable paper-free office have been circulating. While we all know these rumours have been more myth than truth, about a year ago the O2 board decided to put a paperless office into practice with the help of new technology.

We have taken several different steps to achieve this paper-free office. For me, it’s the classic disruptive technology scenario. Tablets had to be adopted as an alternative to the laptop, so really understanding what they offered as a business tool was the first hurdle.

Once this had been established, we adopted an app called Board Portal. This app enables us to sit in board meetings and call up the documents we need to discuss. Rather than shuffling through bits of paper, we use tablets to review and search information which is far more effective.

With the background of very positive personal experience in using tablets in the workplace, we’ve now got them moving into other businesses like a guerrilla force. Most big organisations are having to deal with consumerisation, but I think it’s high time to accept the inevitable. We have to start treating tablets as serious additions to the business toolbox.

It began as part of our commitment to a more sustainable way of working. Real corporate social responsibility has to start at the top. What I didn’t expect was that my laptop would be almost redundant as well.

When you think about it, many emails just require a quick decision and a few words. With a tablet, you have a screen big enough to make it easy to digest the information, and a virtual keyboard that’s easier to use than a smartphone keypad.

You can get through so much more routine work; no more perching a laptop on your knees on a cramped train. And the battery life is fantastic.

So here’s my recommendation: take a good look at the way you’re working now and think about how tablets might change it. They’ll take paper off your desk and give you back a load of time.

And that has to be a good thing, no matter where you sit in the boardroom.

We’ve got plenty of ideas around using tablets in the boardroom, and everywhere else in the organisation. And we back it all with our Enterprise Mobility Management service, which keeps your tablets secure and manageable. Visit http://www.o2.co.uk/enterprise/our-solutions/joined-up-people/consumerisation or call Matt Worth on 01235 433 507 to find out more.