How soon before we are all tablet users and the council hall disappears?

I have been wondering if the new tablets will become like the PC.  For a long time, only a few people had desk top computers.  Then, as costs dropped, and reliability increased, more and more people (both at work and at home) started using desktop computers.

Now, when you go to any local government office you see the desktop computers.  In some places, people may have laptops so they can "hot desk" or work remotely.  However, even the best of these was never truly mobile.  The computer use, at least within councils, may be nearing an inflection point.  Why do we need to keep desk top computers? If this is what keeps us to our desks?

I can see arguments for having desk tops around reliability, security, consistency, and ease of use (from a hardwar perspective). However, does that matter any more?  If most people, (huge assumption) use their desktop for email, and the suite of office products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) can they just as easily do their work from a tablet?  If they can, then does this start to make us consider whether we need as many and as large of buildings?

I appreciate that these ideas have already been worked through on the cutting edge of technology and theories about work and the future of work.  What I was wondering is how soon we see this in local government?

If local government does not need as many buildings, does it start to reduce its economic costs and its footprint?  If the buildings are mainly there to hold staff, rather than be points of service provision, then going mobile has huge savings potentials.

Is there anyone who knows of teams or services going to tablets? (see for example this approachs to tablets and mobile working http://www.guardian.co.uk/housing-network/2012/may/15/mobile-technology-saves-housing-provider-million-pounds  

http://www.lgcplus.com/blogs/going-mobile-how-bolton-council-took-the-plunge/5043211.blog

Here is a future scan on the way such mobile working may affect work life balance. http://www.sigmascan.org/Live/Issue/ViewIssue/83/1/live-to-work-integration-or-imbalance/

If so, is this part of a strategy for the Council to go mobile and thereby reduce its office space?

I would be interested in your views as to whether we are at the tablet (PC) inflection point. If we are not yet there, when will we be there?  How will this affect the asset base (land and property) held by Councils?

Is there anyone doing research in this area?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 Comments

Andy Davis 7 Years Ago
Another dimension to add in is the growing number of councils that are trialling 'bring/use your own device' approaches to the use of both tablets (to replace PCs) and smartphones (to replace business mobile phones). Potential savings are therefore not just linked to property and space but also to IT equipment.
Lawrence Serewicz 7 Years Ago
Andy, Good points. I was intentially avoiding the BYOD issue because it gets into personal devices and culture issues. However, it is, as you say, tied in in with the change in technology and culture. I was focusing on the property issue because buildings are the main "block" to a virtual council emerging. However, we will still need buildings. However, will they be more for services rather than staff. If this is the case, then do we start to see a change in Council asset profiles.
MT
michael tucker 6 Years Ago
Hi Lawrence Funnily enough, this is the subject of my entry into the EU Social Innovation Competition 2013 (socialinnovationcompetition.eu/423/). The judges liked it but recommended that it be implemented at local, rather than central , government level. I'd be happy to send you, and/or other readers, the full proposal (only 10 pages!). Mike