The iPad is rapidly moving beyond its role as consumer device and infiltrating the enterprise. A new survey conducted by BoxTone Mobile Service Management indicates that three-quarters of corporations will deploy the Apple tablet in the next year. Twenty-five percent are deploying the slates already.
IT professionals and executives at 800 companies were interviewed for the survey. The combination of the iPad's hardware execution with its highly readable capacitive touchscreen, which doesn't require a stylus, enables a more natural and intuitive user interface than previous attempts at tablet computers. Just as it did with the original iPod, Apple has kept the system deliberately limited and focused rather than trying to stuff every possible piece of functionality into it. While this frustrates some of the geekier folks among us, it helps to ensure that the parts that are included work better.
On top of this portable, wireless platform, Apple has created a highly touch optimized interface that allows software developers to produce applications that enable smoother interactivity and collaboration.
Survey respondents also cited the new management features in the imminent iOS 4.2 release that allow for improved enterprise security. All of this allows staff to work amongst themselves and with customers to see new possibilities in the information. Of course, all of this depends on developers coming up with excellent software. By all accounts, Apple has provided an excellent development platform and tools for doing this even if its approval policies for distribution have been a bit wonky. The end result seems to be that IT departments are more willing to allow this new device into their ecosystems than any previous consumer oriented platform.