iPad More Than A Toy For CEOs

C-level executives are getting more comfortable with the notion that Apple's tablet is a legitimate business tool.

Paul McDougall, Editor At Large, InformationWeek

May 6, 2011

2 Min Read

Apple iPad 2 3G Teardown

Apple iPad 2 3G Teardown

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Slideshow: Apple iPad 2 3G Teardown

An increasing number of chief executive officers are turning to the iPad instead of laptops or PCs for business work and communications—a trend that could ultimately help Apple make bigger inroads in corporate America at the expense of competitors such as Research In Motion and Microsoft.

"My boss just got an iPad. Those six words are increasingly being heard as the iPad and other tablets go mainstream," said Gartner analyst Mark McDonald, in a blog post. "You will have to deal with the changed expectations your boss will have for IT and or IT's support plan for these personal devices."

McDonald said the iPad's sleek interface could make quick Apple converts out of a lot of executives, and that could lead them to take a longer look at Cupertino's other products for the enterprise. "You might have to deal with your boss becoming a sudden iPad/Apple convert—read fanatic—as they experience the interface, ease of use, etc. It is a significant difference from the Windows interface," McDonald wrote.

RIM could also take a hit if CEO's, once they get comfortable with Apple's iOS interface, contemplate using the iPhone instead of the Blackberry for corporate communications and messaging.

The trend could also change CEO's perceptions about employees who bring their iPads to work. "The boss will realize the productivity burden you bear through using productivity tools and finally learn that you are using your iPad to deliver more, not goof off between meetings," said McDonald.

Government agencies have also caught tablet fever and are now rolling out slate-compatible apps and content for employees and clients. For example, the U.S. Agency for International Development earlier this year ported presentations for the U.S. embassy in Brazil to the iPad.

And utilities developers are catching on to the iPad's growing popularity in the enterprise and are creating tools that will make it even easier for companies to tap Windows apps through the iPad, thus reducing the number of PCs and notebooks employees need.

Citrix Receiver for the iPad, Wyse Technology's Pocket Cloud, and HLW's iTap are all secure access clients that allow workers to get all their business applications securely through the iPad.

Apple said it sold 4.69 million iPads during the most recent quarter, but did not say how many were sold to businesses. The company's shares were up .30%, to $347.77, in afternoon trading Friday.

About the Author(s)

Paul McDougall

Editor At Large, InformationWeek

Paul McDougall is a former editor for InformationWeek.

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