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With iPad, has Apple won the enterprise?

Jonny Evans | March 16, 2012
As Apple's latest iPad goes on sale in the U.S. and nine more countries at 8 a.m. Friday (March 16), it seems some of the biggest U.S. corporations will be joining consumers to get hold of some. Indeed, the most recent Changewave survey reveals 18.48 % of businesses intend on purchasing an Apple tablet in the current quarter.

IMS Research predicts a waning of the power of Android within the enterprise, observing this of the iPad competition: "Of these, the Kindle Fire from Amazon and several Windows 8 tablets, which will be released in late 2012, are forecast to be most successful. However, to date there is no significant threat to the iPad's continued dominance in the tablet market. In fact, the share of Android tablets is forecast to fall from 35 percent in 2011 to 26 percent in 2012. These tablets have struggled to compete with the user experience offered by the iPad and most future Android tablets are expected to target the low cost side of the market."

This means, for CFOs and CIOs considering tablet deployment, that the prevailing group wisdom seems to favor looking to Microsoft and Apple for an enterprise class solution.

The vital ingredient in any deployment (once security is ensured through a good choice of device security vendor) will be the apps: do businesses choose off-the-shelf apps, or do they develop their own in-house?

In-house app development -- at least for larger firms -- seems to be a good way forward in order that firms can guarantee security, reliability and network compatibility. Ovum believes businesses should create their own in-house apps.

The Growth of In-House App Stores

Analyst Richard Absalom says: "Providing a range of customized applications that make use of tablet functionalities for employees in specific job roles is a good way to gain maximum value from tablets. The growing use of in-house app stores indicates that more and more companies are going down this custom development route."

The analysts don't always get it right. They still believe that tablets aren't built for productivity. But the anticipated introduction of versions of Office for tablet devices will change that in a single moment.

Meanwhile, the tablets are dropping into enterprise shops worldwide. A recent iPass survey claimed tablet adoption in the enterprise has grown to 64% in 2012 from 41% in the second quarter of 2011.

 

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