Gartner to CIOs: Stop avoiding the inevitable

January 26, 2011 at 11:45 AM

While those pig-stalking angry birds really pop to life on the (relatively) big screen of the Apple iPad, the device is about far more than running cool time-killing apps. 

Within the enterprise, in fact, many industry watchers believe that the iPad can provide a real productivity boon. Gartner analysts, for example, have been heavily beating the enterprise iPad drum since last fall. 

Having convened two CIO sessions at its annual Symposium/ITxpo to explore interest in and use of the iPad in work settings, Gartner gathered a couple of notable stats. Shared in a recent blog, the first is that of the 104 CIOs and other senior IT executives in attendance, more than half held iPads in their hands. Secondly, and more telling of what’s going on inside the enterprise, 33% of the CIOs said they are pursuing iPad-related projects. Of those, 60% are led by IT while the remainder by the business. 

With iPad mania only sure to continue as each new iteration hits the stores, the Gartner bloggers (vice presidents and executive partners), issued a five-point call to action for CIOs. Here are their recommendations: 

• CIOs should not ignore the iPad and the potential benefits this disruptive technology can bring to organizations of all kinds.
• CIOs should focus on both client-facing and internal opportunities to exploit the iPad, as well as forthcoming derivative tablets (e.g., RIM Playbook, Samsung Galaxy, Dell Streak) based on other operating systems (e.g., Android) and new mobile device formats – as part of a managed device diversity program.
• The convergence of an inexpensive consumer-based device format, with instant-on, high-resolution screens, touch-based interfaces, WiFi and 3G internet connectivity, and high battery life presents a unique opportunity to explore and exploit new approaches to mobile devices, application functionality and media delivery.
• CIOs should not underestimate the “cool factor” for people associated with these devices, to enhance relationships with executives and even boards.
• CIOs should use this opportunity to rethink implications for security, information protection, and enterprise deployment and management of consumer technology (since this will be required for other external “entities” such as customers, partners, contractors, etc.), while anticipating that the iPad is a leading indicator of a new technology direction for employer- and employee-owned devices.


Beth Schultz

Beth Schultz , contributing editor, has more than two decades of experience as an IT writer and editor. You can find her work at a number of leading IT publications, where she writes on a variety of topics including cloud computing, mobility, network/systems management and security. Find her Linkedin profile here or e-mail her here.

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