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Deskphones to 'disappear' within five years, say CIOs

Tablets are a fad, according to a significant minority

UK CIOs expect the deskphone to disappear from offices within five years, and the future use of tablets doesn't seem that secure either.

Market research firm Vanson Bourne questioned 500 UK CIOs about the technology they expected to be using over the next few years, and 65 percent predicted deskphones would disappear from everyday use within five years.

The survey also revealed CIO skepticism about tablet technologysuch as Apple's iPad, with nearly a quarter (24 percent) of CIOs surveyed expecting tablets to "fall out of fashion".

A large number of organisations have converted their deskphones to use voice over IP technology, to enable their staff to make free calls over internet-based networks.One factor supporting CIOs' belief in the demise of the desk phone is that rapid decline in the call tariffd on mobile contracts for businesses, while staff behavior indicates many prefer to make calls on business mobiles sitting on their desk anyway.

After deskphones PCs are the next most likely device to become redundant, with 62 percent of CIOs predicting their demise. In contrast, smartphones (13 percent) are seen as the least likely devices to be abandoned.

Tony Grace, chief operating officer of Virgin Media Business, which commissioned the survey, said, "The pace of change with technology is having a transformative effect on the way we work. A decade ago it would have been unthinkable to suggest an office without telephones. Now it's hard to imagine being separated from our smartphones."

On tablets, Grace said, "Tablet technology still has a long way to go to justify itself and sit alongside smartphones as essential business equipment."

Volkswagen in the UK is one company that has eagerly adopted tablet technology. It recently launched its "digital showroom" iPad app to "close the gap between the on- and off-line worlds"

The car manufacturer said 2,000 iPads are being distributed across its UK showrooms, to equip staff with a range of web tools that will enable them to offer buyers the same experience in a retail showroom as they would find on the Volkswagen website.

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