Does the Apple iPad belong in the business enterprise?

Posted on: January 28, 2010 | By: SuperUser Account | QAD Business Process

Once again Steve Jobs and Apple have made quite a splash with a new product announcement. The new iPad will undoubtedly have tech geeks and those who flash technology for status in quite a state of excitement. One can remember when the iPhone came out and the business technical world thought it had nothing to do with them. Now how many road warriors run through airports with those ubiquitous iPhones connected to their Corporate Email servers and to other business Web applications? I’ve talked to many that claim that they don’t even have to boot up their laptops in their hotel rooms – the iPhone gives them everything that they need. So what impact will the iPad have?

First of all, will it replace laptops? Its virtual keyboard certainly doesn’t appeal to those of us that can still remember doing college term papers on an old Royal typewriter. But what of the under 30 workforce, have you seen them type their texts at warp speed without a second thought? They can’t see the reason for the traditional keyboard. So why not get an iPad and leave that old laptop at home? You say that it doesn’t run spreadsheets or word processors? Well, so many people use their laptop for little other than Email and Web surfing. Connecting to a legacy ERP application to check orders? That’s a Web interface. Connecting to a CRM system to enter sales meeting notes? That’s a hosted solution that is accessed just fine from a Web browser. So if that’s what people use their laptops for, why not lose them in favor of an iPad? Maybe you or I won’t think that way, but I’ll bet that tens of thousands of users are going to be thinking exactly that way.

So if you don’t think that the iPad will affect the business enterprise, you’ve got your head in the sand. I can remember when some company named Compaq began making suitcase sized portable computers. That didn’t catch on, did it? Apple is more than a technology company, it’s a cultural icon. And like all iconic technology, for every user that truly uses a products capability another three buy it because they think they’re supposed to have it. And once they buy it, they’ll be on the doorsteps of Corporate IT to hook it up and support it. Me, I may hit resale stores to see if any of them have an old and trustworthy Royal for sale.

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