Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Corporate Dilemma: Company Leaders Urged to Embrace iPads On the Job, Chief IT Pros Shout "No!"

By Tom Dulaney, Editor

Whether chief IT execs like it or not, the iPad wants a job at most US companies and it's banging on the door. 

The highly respected Gartner Group recently told corporate chief executives they need to change their ways, and go talk to their IT people about how the iPad might be put to profitable, cost-saving, sales-boosting use.

It is not usually the role of the CEO to get directly involved in specific technology device decisions, but Apple's iPad is an exception,” said Stephen Prentice, Gartner Fellow and vice president. “It is more than just the latest consumer gadget; and CEOs and business leaders should initiate a dialogue with their CIOs about if they have not already done so.

The executive suites might go for that, but the IT chieftains aren't buying it, according to an Information Week Global CIO survey.
InformationWeek Analytics, a subscription based research division, polled 552 business technology professionals to get their take on  how tablet computers might fight into company operations.

“They won't,” is the overwhelming and surprising response.

Tablets aren't going to replace many PCs in the corporate landscape, the results indicate. “Just 7%v 'strongly agree' that  'for select users in certain roles,' the tablet will be their main computer; 40% strongly disagree with that idea.

"This result is surprising," notes Information Week.  "There's a lot of room in this question to dream up niche uses where a tablet might be an employee's main machine--notice we didn't even say 'only computer.'  

"This suggests a high level of skepticism for business use of tablets."

“Just 4% strongly agree” that they will give 10% of employees, who would normally have desktops or laptops, tablets as work tools.  Another 8% just “agree,” but 51% make no bones about it and “strongly disagree.”

Another 39% “strongly disagree” that their customers will interact with them by way of tablets.

Only 15% indicate they plan to make a move to create apps for customer interaction or business operations.

More detail reported the surverors paints a stark picture of top IT professionals not impressed with the iPad as a business tool.

The "most polarizing" question asked:  "Tablets will be a non-event for us."  Some 21% strongly agree with that, another 18% agree.  "That's 39% anti-tablet, in terms of business impact."

On the other side of the question, 14% strongly disagree and 13% disagree the tablet will be a "non-event.  That's 27% pro-tablet.

But the swing vote is still out, and undecided.  Some 34% neither agree or disagree that the tablet will be a non-event.

"This indecisiveness," says Global CIO, "can also be seen in the statement 'We have no idea what our tablet policy should be.'...42% are stuck on the fence on that one."

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