25% of Fortune 500 Companies Will Be Using Chromebooks by 2018: IDC
*The article can be reached here, but please note that it is behind a paywall.
Over 25% of Fortune 500 companies in the United States will be using Chromebooks by 2018, according to IDC, a leading provider of market analytics. This data was just released in an article in the Wall Street Journal* which paints a glowing picture of the future of the Chromebook in business.
Recent Update Allowing Android App Use Blows the Market Wide Open for Chromebooks
Up until a recent update, Chromebooks users needed to be connected to the Internet to use most apps, and could only use Google’s own apps offline on the Chrome OS. However, with the new update, Chromebooks users have access to every app in the Google Play store, meaning they can use Microsoft Word, Skype, or any other app they need just as if they were working on a traditional computer. Linn Huang, a director of research at IDC, predicts that sales of Chrome OS devices will grow by 30% in 2016 alone based on this and other changes to Chromebooks.
Chromebooks Getting Sleeker, IT Administration Getting Easier
One of the selling points of a Chromebook has always been how easy it is to administer. If a business is a Google for Work client, Chromebook administration is easily accessible from the usual administrator’s panel, making device management much simpler than it traditionally is. From the admin panel, IT can lock out certain apps, add or delete users, and much more. For PC or Mac device management, businesses require separate solutions which can often be costly. In addition, updates to the Chromebook happen quietly in the background while not affecting performance. Updates to both Windows and Apple operating systems can involve users shutting down and restarting, often once every one or two weeks. This change alone can improve productivity and lower the frustration level for both IT and end employee users.
Device Cost Is Lower, But Better Options Are Available
The other major selling point of Chromebooks has been their cost - a perfectly functional computer for any regular employee can be had for around $300. This has also worked against them as they have been viewed as a cheaper device for low-level employees. However, Google is upping its game and seeing higher-end Chromebooks rolling out from various manufacturers which are more suitable for executives who want a carbon fiber or aluminum body, or an employee that requires more processing power.
Inertia Is the Chromebook’s Only Enemy
Nearly all computing now is cloud-based. The only enemy of the cheaper, easier-to-manage Chromebook is the fact that most senior-level executives or IT staff are used to “traditional” computers with a PC or Apple OS. While only time will tell if IDC’s predictions about astronomical sales growth for Chromebooks come true, it is a simpler, cheaper and more efficient machine than the other options on the market.