Everyone I know loves the iPad. It looks nice, it turns on quickly, it is a great way to consume information. However, most of the people I see using an iPad are doing so for personal use, often to placate a small child.
How does it fit into a business?
Generally a business owner is looking to provide tools to ensure that their team is productive. So, when evaluating an iPad or any tablet for that matter a business should understand that it's benefits are:
- Turns on quickly, great for meetings and instant notes
- Light, portable and easy to share, people love to hold them
- Large variety of social applications
- Ever growning number of inexpensive "interesting" applications
The cons are:
- Expensive (if a second device), especially mobile network versions
- Existing Office productivity applications exist but are not 100% compatible with MS Office
- No keyboard. Luckily, this can be solved with an extra bluetooth keyboard.
Effectively, if you can determine that ALL of an employees requirements for work will be satisfied by the iPad and their role involves a lot of meetings and travel these devices are wonderful. However, as soon as the employee has a requirement that is not met i.e. they need to use the accounting package or CAD system then they become a second device and the cost/benefit dwindles dramatically.
Please note that adding an iPad to your IT infrastructure requires some serious thought and consideration with regards to security and backup.
Of course there are many other types of tablets that are available each with their own pros and cons. We hope to write some more about these in the near future. In the meantime if you have any questions about iPads in particular or tablets in general for your home or business please don't hesitate to give us a call.