Challenged by the deployment of Apple iPads in your enterprise? It's not surprising when Gartner estimates that media tablet sales reached 19.5 million units in 2010, driven by sales of the iPad. Media tablets and the iPad will fuel even faster growth in the category of mobile PCs, already 55 percent of industry shipments in 2009 and forecasted to reach 70 percent by 2012, according to Gartner.
As a result, many Fortune 2000 enterprise CIOs and SMB IT directors are caught reacting to the immediate need to integrate Apple iPads and iPhones for mobile executives and sales teams.
Charles Edge, director of technology for 318, Inc., a technology IT consulting and development firm, has authored a new book entitled Enterprise iPhone and iPad Administrator's Guide, which focuses on securely integrating Apple in the enterprise.
“The difficulty of securely and efficiently deploying Apple in the enterprise is that IT teams in most organizations are more familiar with deploying Microsoft solutions,” said Edge. “Even something as basic as opening a Microsoft Word document stored on a server, changing it on the iPad and saving it back to the server cannot be done out-of-the box. Unfortunately, the timelines for most IT organizations are such that they need to have mass integration done yesterday.”
This slideshow highlights how 318’s team is advising clients who are trying to bring iPads and iPhones into enterprise environment.
Click through for six tips on integrating iPad devices in the enterprise from 318, Inc., a technology services company focused on heterogeneous Apple/Microsoft/Linux infrastructures in Fortune 2000 enterprises and SMBs.
Clearly define the business objectives behind the deployment. Many organizations run into problems because they start to implement iPads or iPhones without a clear understanding of the user requirements.
Define a set of policies—access, authentication, security—that can then be implemented in iOS, Apple’s operating system for iPad and iPhone.
Make sure you understand the intended work flow and apps required on the device. Ultimately, it’s all about the applications and what lies behind them on the servers.
IT departments need to get in front of the iPad and iPhone tsunami and lead the integration planning. If not, business units will take the initiative and set the tone. This becomes problematic as they may not understand all of the policies that need to be enforced, and trying to reactively correct these can lead to unnecessary political pressures.
Every device comes with its own intricacies. However, most organizations already have a baseline standard set for mobile devices. If you do not yet have policies for security and other aspects of iOS then look to what you have been doing for Blackberries and Windows Mobile as a starting place for defining those same policies for the iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone.
While policies are important, keep in mind that one of the things users love so much about the iPhone and iPad is that they allow a user unparalleled access to productivity enhancers through the App Store. While you can limit access to the App Store, doing so will likely not be a very popular thing to do!