Hype surrounding Apple's long-awaited touch tablet centers on the living room. But are iPads ready for the boardroom? The cubicle? The data center?
Whether enterprises are ready for iPads or not, here they come.
Let's dispense right up front with any notion that iPads will be successfully blocked from enterprise use. It's going to happen. Resistance was futile against PCs, laptops, instant messaging, PDAs, personal smart phones (including the iPhone), and it will be futile again for the iPad.
The first unauthorized users will be business travelers. Apple probably presold well over a quarter million iPads. How many of those buyers are corporate business travelers? Enterprise frequent fliers will be showing up for work Monday with iPads in hand, and that's when the trouble starts.
Forrester Research analyst Ted Schadler predicts that "mobile professionals" –- which make up more than one-quarter of the enterprise workforce -– will use iPads as an "employee-provisioned third device" for all the same reasons consumers will buy them. Specifically: ease of use, extreme portability and an ill-defined "cool factor."
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