Apple’s latest consumer tech innovation is the iPad and just like it’s predecessors the iPod and iPhone, people are clamoring to find a use case scenario for the iPad in the business world. The device is without a doubt popular, with an estimated 3 million units sold in just 3 months it’s difficult to argue the iPad’s appeal. However, the question remains, can Apple’s primarily consumer based device effectively transition into the business world? I’m here to say yes it can and give you my reasons why.
The first and most obvious case for the iPad is the mobile user. The 9.5 inch, 1.5 lb. form factor makes the iPad an excellent tool for the user on the go. Lighter and easier to transport than a laptop and much more functional than a PDA, the iPad offers a pleasant and user friendly interface with a fully interactive touch screen keyboard for data entry. E-mail, web browsing, calendar, meeting notes, everything the on-the-go pro needs to conduct business on a daily basis. Offering options which include Wi-Fi only or a Wi-Fi/3G combo allows a user to pick which version fits his individual needs. Users with limited access to Wi-Fi and high demand for connectivity can opt for the Wi-Fi/3G combo version, providing connectivity wherever AT&T offers coverage.
Don’t misunderstand me, the iPad is not a complete PC replacement. If you’re not creating in-depth presentations or complex spreadsheets while traveling between meetings, the iPad can function as a perfect replacement to the laptop or netbook. I’ve been using my iPad since May and have effectively replaced 90% of my need for a mobile laptop.
Apple’s developer community and app store are rich with content ripe for the business user. If you need something accomplished, odds are “there’s an app for that”. From news publications like the Wall Street Journal to remote desktop applications allowing direct access to your office PC, the app store offers a little bit of everything for the business user. Need to create a document or review a spreadsheet? Documents To Go and Quick Office are nice complements to the iPad’s existing functionality.
With most apps at a price point of between $10 and $20, finding an affordable way to get things done is often quick and easy. Don’t see the app you need? Wan to tie in to your businesses customer database? Have the app developed for you. The app development community can even be contracted to develop custom apps to fit your unique business needs.
The proliferation of cloud computing complements the iPad’s functionality and was no doubt a factor Apple took into consideration when developing the product. The idea of pushing and storing data in “the cloud” allows devices such as the iPad to access stored information from anywhere the device has Internet access. This technology allows the iPad to have minimum storage capacity and a smaller form factor as the result. Organizations which leverage cloud computing for applications and storage can access those services via the iPad. Coupled with custom built apps, the combination is perfect for businesses looking to be quick and versatile.
Sleek and Smart
Appearances can carry a lot of weight in society, especially the business world. If you’re company wants to appear as a sleek, smart, and cutting edge organization (let’s face it, most do), than the iPad is a perfect fit for your organization. Sit in a meeting with an iPad and you immediately grab the attention of other attendees. Attention, more often than nought can help your business stand out and get noticed. Even popular television shows such as ESPN’s Sportscenter and CNBC’s Fast Money incorporate the iPad into on-air programming.
Professional services, medical services, call center managers, manufacturing floors, sales professionals, educational institutions and many others have and are still finding new business applications for the iPad. If your organization is interested in learning how to incorporate the iPad and other mobile devices into your business, Accent is the place to start. Our business consultants can help your organization extend itself beyond the walls of the office and into the 21st century.