Information week did a recent survey of 402 business technology professionals, asking them about the new iPad and enterprise. The following article provides information that may be helpful in deciding whether the new iPad is right for your company.
Business technology managers are showing greater interest in Apple’s new iPad, but they continue to have reservations, an InformationWeek survey finds.
Corporate IT managers aren’t overwhelmed by the new iPad but they do see it as a strong offering, one that will continue to build Apple’s presence in enterprises. The new iPad won’t dissolve decades of corporate affinity for Windows overnight, but it does appear to be gradually the winning hearts and minds of business users.
InformationWeek surveyed 402 business technology professionals in March about Apple’s new iPad, individuals involved in the purchasing, management, or support of end-user devices.
Only 13% of respondents said they were blown away by Apple’s latest tablet and had to have one. Most, 61%, characterized the new iPad as a solid offering that met their expectations–inasmuch as that can be said without actually handling one. Perhaps because IT managers are so intimately familiar with computing devices (or because they see Apple’s marketing as irresistible to those less jaded), 22% of survey respondents said that end users will be so taken with the new iPad that they’ll have to have one.
Corporate IT managers have long viewed Apple hardware as an afterthought. While they started becoming more open to Apple products about a decade ago, their willingness to adopt Apple technology has ramped up sharply since the introduction of the iPhone and the iPad.
Apple’s OS X computer hardware remains underrepresented in large companies: 36% of respondents said their organizations officially support Macs, while 39% said Mac are tolerated but not supported, and 25% said Macs aren’t allowed.
iOS devices on the other hand are far more well received by businesses. Fifty percent of respondents said their companies officially support iPhones and 47% reported official support for iPads. Only 10% of respondents indicated that their organizations take a hard line and ban iPhones and iPads.
One IT manager in the electric utility equipment business observed that while he wasn’t familiar with Apple products and had heard they didn’t always play well with Windows Active Directory services, “We will probably have to have become more familiar with Apple because I can see more users wanting [Apple products].”
The obstacles to greater Apple presence in enterprises are varied, but five stand out: 51% of respondents cited the absence of OS X and iOS versions of critical applications (there are 500,000+ apps, just not the right ones); 36% cited lack of internal Apple expertise and disinterest in cultivating that knowledge; 34% cited difficulty integrating Apple users with Active Directory or other authentication systems; 27% said Macs and iOS devices are too expensive; and 27% said Apple’s devices are too difficult to centrally manage.
Apple is clearly aware of complaints from enterprise users about device management and earlier this month released Apple Configurator to ease the burden of Apple hardware administration.
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