Increased productivity from a second monitor?

Earlier this week, a new second monitor was delivered to the New York office of AMI-Partners. The technical specs are not that important, neither is the brand for that matter. The essential factor here is that more content can be viewed with two screens versus one. Is using a second monitor beneficial? HBBs, SMBs, and large enterprises likely have employees who can utilize a second screen, but it is a matter of preference.

Second display setup

Global Spending on Peripherals

According to AMI’s Global Market Forecast Model, worldwide spending on peripherals by the HBB and SMB markets combined will reach nearly $14B in 2016, increasing steadily to just over $15B come 2020. This forecast, of course, covers more than just spending on second displays. This total spend reflects the widespread use of peripherals across organizations and how usage will continue to grow. These devices can be seen as accessories in the business world. Necessary? Perhaps. Worthwhile? The evidence will need to be examined. Peripherals let you do more than was originally intended and move beyond the design limitations of an existing product. A separate keyboard can free you from sitting close to your screen. A mouse can make that touchy touchpad seem obsolete. A second monitor can mean a spreadsheet now displays columns A:AF and rows 1:45 at 90% zoom.

Product Development

The mobility of the modern workforce means employees are working in a variety of settings. From an individual office to a conference room and all points in-between, technology must be as portable as the user. Additionally, tablets and ultrabooks are substituting for and in some cases replacing desktops and laptops altogether. AMI’s Global Model forecasts a 48% drop in shipments for desktops and laptops through 2020. During that same time span, shipments of tablets and ultrabooks are set to rise by 49%. Manufacturers like Lenovo, HP, Dell, Asus, Apple, and Acer will need to respond to this changing demand and develop hardware that meets expectations. Likewise, peripherals will need to complement these modern pieces of tech to make the user experience more productive and enjoyable.

In all likelihood, screens of the future will be able to fold to fit in a shirt pocket, but for the time being, screens are relatively heavy objects that are best left in place. How often have you toggled between two applications because one was providing inputs to the other? How many times have you thought the worst of a non-responsive (and then suddenly overly responsive) touchpad? A new peripheral can help with said distractions.

Increased SMB activity

SMBs are more involved in the global economy than ever before. Increased connectivity and advances in technology mean a once exclusively local firm can operate regionally, nationally, and even globally. These efforts to transform and expand businesses will require necessary and worthwhile devices. All signals point to increased spending by SMBs, peripherals included.

Of course, it all comes down to user preference. Whether you are a second screen user or you prefer one display, as long as you can get your work done, how you see it is all a matter of perspective. Some users just prefer to have the view extended.

Do you use a second monitor? Let us know your thoughts and be sure to follow AMI-Partners.

Andrew Svonavec | Associate

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