As Tablets Flood the Enterprise, Security
Rushes to Catch Up
When Apple iPads were first introduced to the market, large enterprises did not jump at the opportunity to replace their current deployments of laptops and other mobile computing platforms. Tablet personal computers (PCs) had been around for years prior to the debut of the iPad. Most tablet PCs were based on established operating systems (or smaller, yet related, operating systems).
Tablet PCs, slate PCs, and all the other incarnations of various mobile computing devices all promised to be the next great innovation for the ever-mobile workforce of the day. Many of the products were successful while others looked better on paper than they performed in real-world scenarios (I have tested my fair share of devices over the years).
So when the Apple announcement came out in early 2010 about the release of the iPad, why didn’t enterprises line up to buy them out of the gate? There were several reasons, many of which are still cited today: interoperability with existing deployed technologies, security of the data and the device itself, lack of a defined business case for deployment and support versus investment, among others.
So what happened? iPads showed up in the workplace anyway! Without employer funding or an enterprise business case, individual employees went out to the Apple Store and stood in line to buy an iPad (and subsequently the iPad 2). The reasons for purchase varied: being the first to have the latest technology product, dedicated Apple fans who always buy the latest Apple product, people looking for new ways to interact with technology and media, folks looking for an electronic babysitter for their children (a big NO-NO!), and employees striving to be more productive at work.
The aforementioned is by no means a complete list. If you want to learn more about what drives people to purchase iPads, bring snacks to offer and ask the consumers waiting in line for the launch of the next iteration; it should make for an educational and entertaining experience.