Forrester predicts that by the end of this year, Apple will have sold more than 13 million iPads and such is the unstoppable march of the tablet – 30 per cent of IT departments are now piloting or planning to pilot tablet PC apps, with another 43 per cent expressing an interest in tablets.
That is an incredibly fast adoption rate – even artists like David Hockney are looking at tablets as technological canvases to display his latest work at an exhibition in Paris.
Yet as some observers point out, with the lack of software like Microsoft Outlook on the iPad, the devices won’t displace laptops for productivity purposes in the near future. So any tablets that appear in organisations will be additional devices that IT will have to support, according to Forrester, rather than replacements for existing hardware.
The challenge for IT administrators was clearly revealed by the findings of the Cisco Connected World Report launched the other week. It reported almost half (45%) of IT professionals are unprepared or struggling to make their workforces more mobile and distributed. At the sametime works are expecting mobility as a right with 2 of every 3 (66%) suggesting they would be prepared to take a 10% pay cut for more work flexibility!
So the IT administrator is caught between enabling these new mobile devices, while trying to ensure that sensitive corporate data is not compromised and the network is protected, while meeting the demands of a younger, more mobile workforce. And the challenge is only getting more difficult as more business focused tablets like the Cisco Cius hit the market in the coming weeks and months in Europe!