The iPad Enterprise disruption
If corporate customers are going to invest in such a disruption, such as the iPad, what are people stating as the benefit for the investment and disruption?
I have been working to understand, embrace, compete, and integrate with the amazing iPad for several months. Several articles have been written and I have firsthand experience with several major companies pushing some type of iPad or slate device initiative since the launch of the device. The device seems to continue to look for a home in the enterprise. Let me start by saying I think the user experience, instant on and battery life are very compelling on the iPad, and I am a firm supportive of the slate, tablet and netbook form factors, I think they are great especially since I am a gadget guy. So this posting isn't about why the iPad or against the iPad. It really is a few observations and questions.
The iPad is causing such a disruption in the enterprise because many of you know it lacks almost every enterprise capability that conventional IT wisdom tells you are necessary for a corporate device endpoint, from the ability to secure it, all the way to management. However the user experience is so strong on the consumer front, productivity workers demand this in an enterprise experience, so executives and the current wave of consumer influence in IT is forcing IT to figure out a support model for the device.
I have yet to hear one great story of improved productivity for all that the iPad brings to the market? Let's take a look at the productivity score card for the iPad (according to Ed).
Note taking – F
(A horrible experience, go try a tablet PC and Microsoft OneNote)
Content Creation – F
(No student in their right mind is going to create a term paper on this thing, nor a corporate employee right a report longer than 5 sentences)
Instant Messaging – C
(There are some solutions our there but they are not mainstream yet)
Social Networking – D
(short status updates ok, however we are talking enterprise customers not consumer scenarios)
Collaboration – F
(this is all over the board, not clear winner, that companies support)
Ease of development – B
Searching for corporate content – F
Web Conferencing – F
(No need to even comment)
Lower the cost of IT - ?
(Possible, I don't know several arguments have been made for both camps here)
What is the benefit for the disruption of the iPad to corporate customers? My take is that if there are any they are not mainstream, you may find some success case in a particular vertical, or niche. However let's take a look at the vertical market score card for iPads (again according to Ed)
Health Care – F
(How do you sterilize the device, I would think that is pretty important)
Manufacturing - D
(Depends on where, I would to see what happens when you drop it, or throw a hard hat on top of it, needs a ruggedized story)
Retail – B (maybe even an A)
(The Apple stores seem to have some success with them, so there is some hope here, however now you are forcing the development of an enterprise application in objective-c for the user interface, when there are so many device choices on the market, which allow you to develop in main stream enterprise technologies. The question, is it worth return?)
What am I looking for or trying to state in writing the blog post? I am looking to see a trend in corporate space that states the iPad is helping companies to do <fill in the blank> better, faster or cheaper. I have not seen any such evidence for all the fanfare, I am seeing in the enterprise.