iPad – The Sexiest Mobile Device Makes its Way to the Enterprise
As more and more companies are introducing iPads as their mobile solution for many of their mobile applications, this sexy tablet is now making its way into the enterprise world. A couple of weeks ago, I came across an interesting article in the Seattle Times which spoke about how Alaska Airlines’ pilots are testing iPads and Warren Buffett’s that NetJets adopted the device for use by its entire fleet.
A few weeks earlier, we announced that Skanska UK’s Utilities Operating Unit, part of the world’s leading construction group Skanska AB, will run our Mobile Enterprise Application on iPhone smartphones and iPad tablets to drive efficiency, improve customer service, enhance workforce productivity, and reduce the negative impact on the environment.
We are, indeed, witnessing significant interest among prospects and existing customers who are exploring the idea of introducing the iPad as their preferred mobile device. Anyone who has watched the video of Steve Jobs introducing the iPad2 will not be surprised by this development. Jobs made it clear that corporations around the world are testing and incorporating iPads within their organizations. His two word prognosis: “Game changer.”
Personally, I was surprised to see such strong interest in the iPad extend into industries such as Telecommunications and Utilities, since they typically work in “tough” environments and need a ruggedized device to support their work… Of course you need to distinguish between upper management and the rest of the workforce like the field technicians, but this device is so appealing and the user experience is so advanced, that they are willing to take the high device churn rate as a given.
Maybe it’s the managers and supervisors who are after the ultimate mobile experience (and the status symbol), or maybe it’s the ability to give the mobile technician the recognition he has been craving for so long. After all, employee satisfaction tends to lead to employee retention! Wouldn’t you feel more “valued” if your manager gave you an iPad to perform your daily duties? I would!
Now deploying these tablets without jeopardizing corporate computing policies is a real challenge especially when the current IT folks are well experienced in the Windows, Windows Mobile, ,and Blackberry space and are lacking the experience to manage iOS devices however this doesn’t seem to be affecting the amazing adoption of the iPad.
Another growing concern is that employees will try to download every possible app onto the iPad.What’s the point of having an iPad without enjoying the millions of cool apps that you can run on it?
And with regards to security, well recently I heard a true story of the following ridiculous idea: “Let’s deploy the iPad with only one application – a CITRIX client. That way our employees will be able to access their mobile office online and have access to all their needed applications without any security problems…”
Hmmm… this company would give up offline capabilities for security and control? Given the fact that the latest version on the iPad raises security fears due to the USB port, maybe this is a reasonable compromise? No way!!
Perhaps it will be the Android Tablet that finds more IT fans in the enterprise world, but as for the sexiest mobile device award – the iPad is the clear winner.
Do you see the iPad as a ‘game changer’ in the business world?