IT Should Plan Now for iPad in the Enterprise

The iPad has indeed arrived. You can’t head to a news site or check out the latest on the tech blogs without seeing a mention of Apple’s newest device. You know what I’m talking about – with its debut recently, the iPad has seemingly taken on a life of its own. From reviews in publications like The Economist to an article on application development in the New York Times, the media and the public alike are abuzz with its possibilities.

Before too long, some of the early users, who are now just getting comfortable with the device, will find ways to use it to perform job-related tasks. After the iPad 3G comes out, users and application developers will already have begun turning iPad into a serious enterprise device.

I expect that enterprise users will embrace the iPad for many of the same reasons they took to the iPhone (attractive design, ease of use and range of applications). Its form factor makes it suitable for tasks for which a laptop would be unwieldy, but a phone interface would be limiting. The iPad will especially appeal to mobile workers who need to access information and complete relatively simple data entry on the go. Salespeople will likely be early adopters since the lightweight device will be easy to carry on road trips and will provide a flexible platform for presenting product demos, photos and other graphical information. The iPad should also be put to good use in the medical field, providing doctors and other health care staff access to patient records and other information on an easy-to-carry device.

My advice to IT is this: apply the lessons learned from the iPhone and plan for iPad deployments. Anticipate how your end users might employ the device. Then consider what types of controls you’ll want to put in place to manage it effectively. In other words, treat the iPad like a smartphone or a laptop. It promises productivity benefits but will undoubtedly challenge your staff. They are not going to have a lot of time to come up to speed before end users start connecting the iPad to your network.

We’ve been hearing from more and more companies that lack Apple expertise but need to deploy iPhones to considerable numbers of users. In recent engagements we’ve applied our mobility tools and best practices to get fully loaded iPhones into the hands of our customers’ corporate users. By adapting our iPhone mobility services to the iPad, we’ll be ready when the iPad comes into the enterprise, whether it’s supplied by IT or brought in by enthusiastic users.

Apple iPad – Possible Support Questions & Tips for Day 1

If you are supporting a corporate enterprise every day may bring new devices from employees that you may be asked to support.  Even if you have a strict supported device list that you hold regular end-users to, are you really going to say no way to your boss or one of the CxOs?

Using a new iPad this weekend I have run into some minor quirks so far, but nothing major I believe. Sharing my experiences here so you may save some research time:

- Biggest confusion factor was that it appears it won’t charge on a regular USB connection, and needs the full 10W charge from a wall adaptor. Otherwise you may see the “Not Charging” text next to the battery icon in the top right corner.

- You need to download the latest iTunes 9.1 (or higher) version to setup and register the iPad for the first time. Still no way over the air.

- Some applications on the Apple iTunes AppStore are “universal” and can run on either on the iPhone/iPod Touch or iPad. Others may have separate versions with different names. If you sync Apps from your Apple account from previous devices, you may find yourself with several “duplicate” applications showing up and should delete the non-iPad versions.

- Older “legacy” iPhone/iPod Touch applications can be zoomed up to full screen by tapping the round “2x” icon in the bottom right when running.

- The iBooks app is free (as is the Amazon Kindle app for iPad), but the three iWork apps are USD $9.99 each at this time. Pages is a word processor, Numbers a spreadsheet app, and Keynote a presentation app. All native apps sold by Apple and only for the iPad at this time. Together they are probably one of the best competitors to most of the upcoming Windows 7 Phone Office Hub functionality.

- You can place up to 6 icons in the bottom line of the screen for easy access. This is compared to the usual 4 on the other platforms.

It will be interesting to see the future Android and Microsoft based tablets and how they will compete against the iPad..

Useful Links

For a good listing of iPad supported apps:

The iPhone Config Utility has been updated to v2.2 last week to support the iPad:

But I don’t see any updates to the “Enterprise Deployment Guide” yet: