Apple's iPad Makes Strides in the Enterprise

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 07-26-2010

Five Tech Trends That Will Impact Your Business

As the key technology decision-maker in the enterprise, the CIO needs to know what is coming, what does not work very well, and which products are ideal for employees. Sometimes, these decisions come easily. At other times, they require research into several options to see what makes one solution a better choice than another.

Several significant tech trends will impact CIOs who are trying to make these decisions. Among them:

  • Apple's iPad is now being adopted quite heavily by corporate customers.
  • The Droid X is helping to make Android a viable alternative to BlackBerry OS.
  • And, although Microsoft understands the corporate world, its new Windows Phone 7 software might just be a product for CIOs to ignore.

Read on to find out more about these and other developments that will have a direct impact on the decisions you make going forward.

Apple's iPad Makes Strides in the Enterprise

Apple's iPad, mainly targeted at consumers, is quickly becoming a viable alternative to lightweight notebooks in the enterprise. In fact, research firm, ITIC Corp., recently surveyed IT managers and found that about 23 percent of respondents say they will and/or  already have purchased iPads for their companies. Another 18 percent say they are thinking about ordering Apple's tablet for their operations in the coming months.

Bringing the iPad to your enterprise will take some planning. The device is well-designed and it works quite well. Yet, you can't forget that it does not allow for multitasking (yet), and that its chief use is for entertainment. Plus, it will only accommodate simple office-productivity functions due to the limitations of Apple's iOS. If you can get past those issues, as many CIOs have, you will find a cheap, lightweight alternative to notebooks worth considering.

Facebook Continues To Grow

Facebook announced last week that it has officially hit 500 million active users. The social network's feat further underscores the impact Web communication is having on the lives of both professionals and students. For the corporate world, Facebook holds several opportunities. The site can be used as a free communication platform among your team of professionals. It might also be a good way to use technology to help grow your business through targeting customers. With the right strategies and controls in place, Facebook could be a viable tool for your enterprise.

Droid X Puts Android on Enterprise Map

The Motorola Droid X, the latest Android-based smartphone to hit store shelves, is now sold out. The device boasts a 4.3-inch display, runs Android OS 2.1 (version 2.2 is coming soon), and is available on Verizon's network. The Droid X is arguably the first major Android release to get the same attention as the iPhone. And by doing so, it is helping Google appeal to corporate customers that might have otherwise opted to stick with BlackBerry OS or go with the iPhone.

For the CIO, choosing between an Android OS-based device and an iPhone might be difficult, since they both offer similar functionality. Inevitably, the decision comes down to the value of the software and the quality of the hardware. For now, that might mean the iPhone wins out. But as more Android-based devices launch with the same level of quality as the Droid X, Apple's iPhone might not hold up. Deploying Android is something to consider going forward.

Free iPhone 4 Case Does Little to Quell Complaints About Apple

Apple announced last week that it is now allowing iPhone 4 customers to order a free case via an application they must download from the App Store. Customers can choose from several different options, including Apple's Bumper. But as the company tries to fix the device's connectivity problems with a new case, complaints continue to fly over how poorly Apple is handling the iPhone 4's antenna issues.

For CIOs, these issues, and how Apple is handling them, are important to keep in mind. Although the iPhone 4 might look like a viable investment for employees, the antenna problem that causes users to drop calls is real and extremely troublesome. If your employees are expected to be available and capable of communicating with clients at all times, the iPhone 4 might not be the best bet right now. Until Apple fixes the problem the right way, you might want to stick with what you have. 

Windows Phone 7 Looks Bad in Early Reviews

Windows Phone 7 has been seeded to developers for an early look at how the software will work. And already, there is a lot to dislike. Unlike the platform's biggest multitouchscreen competitors -- Apple iOS 4 and Android 2.2 -- Windows Phone 7 lacks multitasking and copy/paste functionality.

For CIOs who are constantly pressured by top management to come up with improved smartphone solutions, Windows Phone 7's omissions might actually make the decision process a little easier. The competition is more capable than this new platform, other options have a proven pedigree of success, and Microsoft has not proven that it has a real vision for success. Given the software's shortcomings, you might want to cross Windows Phone 7 off your smartphone list already.