The Enterprise iPad is Coming

The Enterprise iPad is Coming

ipadguardian It’s just a matter of days before the iPad is released in the United States, on April 3. It comes to the UK and other countries later in April.

Even if hardly anyone outside of some mainstream media, app developers and Apple fan blogs has seen the new device yet, desire for it is huge with lots of people saying they’re going to get one no matter what (I’m in that crowd).

While you’d expect the iPad to be an obvious appeal from a broad consumer perspective – think of the popular things people do with apps on an iPhone or iPod Touch and magnify that by a large factor to a device with a comparatively huge screen – it also has big appeal as a device for the workplace.

eWeek Europe reports that in a survey of consumers conducted by enterprise software maker Sybase, one of the questions asked respondents which tasks they would be most likely to perform if they owned a tablet device such as the iPad. More than half (52 percent) said that they’d use it for conducting work, while another 20 percent said they’d use it for business presentations.

Nearly three-quarters of the smartphone users surveyed said they believed smartphones and devices such as the iPad led to greater productivity at work and, overall, expressed a desire for greater access to productivity-enhancing tools.

It’s not all work, though, as the survey also shows just over 48 percent of respondents want to watch movies and other audio-visual content (but which must also include the kind you’d see at work).

sybaseipadsurvey

Among such metrics sits a big issue for organizations which eWeek Europe’s report highlights – IT support:

[…] Analyst Forrester has backed the iPad as an enterprise device, and it has been predicted that users will be asking for iPad support from IT managers when it arrives in April, although many will be unwilling to provide it.

[…] iPhones in the enterprise have been a point of debate for years, with many enterprises, primarily citing security concerns, resisting worker’s calls for IT to support the devices. Will the iPad double the pressure on IT staffs — or finally convince them to support the iPhone OS?

A very good question. I’d imagine that plenty of people will get an iPad, bring it to the workplace and use it for “conducting work on the device,” to quote the Sybase survey report, whether it’s formally supported or not.

It’s coming to the enterprise. That’s a reality and you can’t just ignore it (nor ban it). You need to address it.

If you’re planning on getting an iPad and use it for work, what would you say to your IT manager? And if you’re that IT manager, how would you respond?

You can download a PDF of charts from Sybase including the one you see above.

(First posted at NevilleHobson.com.)

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