Among the most common off-target criticisms leveled at the iPad is the idea that it’s just a toy or purely a device that appeals to consumers; not a serious, business-grade device.
Well, that does not appear to match the view of enterprises and organizations round the world who are rolling out the iPad at large scale. In fact, the list of just public deployments (probably just the tip of the iceberg) already extends to some 458 organizations who are deploying close to 122,000 iPads – according to Eric Lai of UberMobile, who (along with Jim Siegl) maintains the excellent iPad Deployment List.
The list just won’t stop growing. There are now 458 organizations deploying nearly 122,000 iPads (and as I’ve repeatedly noted, this is only a list of public deployments, meaning it is a HU-UGE undercount) … That is 25% growth in the number of organizations in just three months.
There are some mighty impressive names in that list – including SAP, Walt Disney, The Financial Times, GE, and NASA. The list also shows the breadth of iPad’s reach – from major enterprises, to the healthcare industry, to education and government orgnanizations.
As much as some rival tablet makers would like to imply that the iPad is just a hit with ‘personal’ users, it’s just not the case. It’s appeal in the business arena is looking every bit as strong as in the consumer space.
In a promo email titled ‘Give your business a year-end gift’ Apple is pitching the iPad to businesses. Just in case you can’t see the screenshot, here’s the iPad elevator pitch:
Work every business angle. iPad.
iPad features incredible applications like Mail, Calendar, Notes and Safari in a beautiful, thin and light design, so you stay productive anywhere. With easy, secure integration into business environments and a robust platform for app development, iPad is ready to start working when you are.
The iPad is already making major strides in the corporate and enterprise markets, and is also proving a hugely versatile device, that is not ‘just for consumption’ at all – so this seems as good a time as any to step up their promotion efforts to the business market.
I read an interesting post over at ComputerWorld this morning, titled ‘5 features the iPad needs for business‘. It was mostly interesting to me because I found myself disagreeing with a lot of it.
For instance, the first needed feature that is listed is Expandable memory. To be fair, this one probably depends a lot on the nature of your job, but it seems to me most business users should get by fine with the storage space available on the iPad, especially the largest 64GB models. It’s not intended as a desktop replacement, and given that most sensitive or critical company data should be held on network servers (in the cloud or in the company network) I would think 64GB of local storage plus an ability to access server-based documents should be more than good enough for a lot of users.