Barclays Bank is throwing its weight behind the tablet market, having announced that the devices will now be distributed as standard equipment to some of the staff in its retail division.
Shaygan Kheradpir, COO of Barclays Global Retail Bank, told computing.co.uk that the roll out follows a successful trial among senior managers last year and that the bank plans to eventually equip its branch staff with tablets.
He said the ability to use the high quality cameras on tablets as a scanning device, instantly uploading documents and forms to cloud-based platforms, was a particular draw.
“We started last year with different pockets of implementation, supplying different smartphones and tablets,” Kheradpir told the website.
“We have a saying; crawl, walk, run. We did the crawl last year until we were all comfortable, working out where tablets will work and where they are less appropriate. Now we're in the walk mode. Eventually you will see these devices in the customer facing front line at Barclays.”
He said that tablet wielding employees will be more accessible and welcoming to customers than the computer terminals currently used.
Furthermore, he doesn’t see security as an issue. “Tablets have context, they know who and where you are. You can leverage that information to build a more secure ecosystem,” he said.
In a blog article published on informationweek.com this week, Jim Ditmore, CIO of Barclays Bank, wrote that “web apps and tablets will become the dominant computing platform for knowledge workers, and IT should start shifting its strategy to accommodate the change”.
As well as the value in using tablets for senior board meetings instead of huge binders of paper-based information, Ditmore said tablets are attractive because employees often manage their own devices, saving on administration, with the company simply footing the bill.
Furthermore, “by keeping any corporate data in a secure partition of the device, one that can be wiped clean if it's lost or stolen, you can meet your corporate IT security standards.”