Tablet devices, such as the Apple iPad, were initially marketed as recreational consumer items. According to a recent study, however, businesses are increasingly realizing the potential that tablet devices have in an enterprise setting.

The study, published by enterprise mobile software company Good Technology, found approximately 22 percent of the company's software activations in 2010 were performed on tablets. In 2009, there were no mainstream tablet devices available.

According to the study, growth in the popularity of tablets has also been accompanied by an expansion of the enterprise smartphone market.

Many analysts have suggested the rise in popularity of smartphones and tablet devices is tied closely to the growth of cloud computing. Cloud services enable users to access applications and data from any device, without the need for local storage space.

According to John Herrema, senior vice president of corporate strategy at Good Technology, "2011 will be the year of the tablet."

A recent Datamation report also predicted a significant change in business IT hardware requirements. According to the report, mobile internet traffic is set to overtake fixed internet traffic in the coming years.