Should you care about the iPad 2? This time around, I’d wager the answer is probably yes. Why? Because this one is more business-friendly. It’s only a matter of time before business users are clamoring to get their IT departments to support the device.
A few reasons businesses should take notice:
- Joint Venture program – It’s like Apple Genius for businesses. They can help get your business set up and train your employees.
- Business-friendly applications – iPad-friendly apps include salesforce.com, Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Maps, Notes and Safari.
- Integration with standard business apps – It integrates with Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino and standards-based messaging environment
I think the determination for businesses on whether to use the iPad will come down to how they can use what can be considered a viewing monitor. The value is clear from the standpoint of looking at content and interacting through standard business communication tools (email, IM, etc.), but not so clear when it comes to content creation. The real question is how much value will a business get from the iPad and does that merit providing support for employees?
If your business goes iPad, how will this impact you? It’s safe to say we’ve seen this movie before with the proliferation of mobile devices a few short years back and there are a lot of similarities. Here are a few key considerations:
- Security: Just like the mobile device explosion we experienced, security is the primary concern. With all those end points out there, how do you make sure your data is secure? The first thing to note is that Apple’s iOS platform offers security features like the ability to set permissions and mobile device management.
- Cloud: With the use of the iPad in business environments, users will be accessing applications in the cloud. This brings a whole host of considerations but nothing too far-flung from users accessing apps from their BlackBerrys and iPhones. It will be important to consider your network infrastructure to ensure you have a highly available, high-performance network to ensure positive user experience with the iPads.
Only time will tell if enterprises will start embracing the new iPad but if history is any guide, the consumerization of IT is inevitable. Users want the ease and flexibility they get at home in their work life. It’s hard to avoid the tidal wave of consumer demand.
What do you think? Will enterprises embrace the iPad 2 or does it still have too far to go?