I opened up my laptop the other day and, it was… painful. First, I wait the 10 minutes for the boot process; then I click on applications but still must suffer through the minutes of the dreaded hourglass while 40 or so hidden background processes are all trying to do their thing. Then, another 10 minutes figuring out how to connect up to the Starbucks Wi-Fi. Then the VPN, the Windows login, the exchange login, and then 10 minutes to sync so I can just see the email I wanted. So 30-45 minutes to check one email!! I can’t believe we have put up with this for so long.

Oh how easily we become spoiled. I doubt I will ever pull my laptop out of the drawer again…

We now have 3 iPads in the family and I joke that I must have sold another 100 on planes and to friends (alas no commission). The funny thing is that I am not really an “Apple person” per the stereotype but what I guess I am is a very strong Darwinian capitalist (loyal only to the best products and services) and just a person in search of technologies that really, truly do make my life easier.

I have actually heard key industry people (that would be considered smart by most of us) say “they don’t get it – tablet PC’s have been around for several years and this is just another one.”   To me that it just like saying that Google is just another search engine – technically true but inherently wrong.

So beyond the iPad specifically, what are the capabilities that really made the difference – I believe there are several:

Speed – pretty much everything happens instantly or in less than 5 seconds. While apps close and open, I much prefer that to slow response times.

Media – I can easily read and zoom rich media. Perfect for today’s emails.

UI – Unlike many devices, the iPad is not trying to fit a PC UI into a mobile device. With zero training, you can figure it out. It works like you would want (not like a PC).

Size and Battery – Size and weight make a difference and battery lasts all day.

Business and Personal – With my laptop I was forced to run a work image so personal productivity basically required me to carry another device. With this device I can switch back and forth instantly. I realize that is technically possible but EMC IT was not going to change their laptop policy. I now have one device for books, movies, personal and business email, customer presentations, notes, Facebook, etc. It is all I now carry when traveling.

Speed and Connectivity – while I won’t comment on my phone experience, 3G for internet connectivity is critical. Background sync creates the instant availability to information that we crave.

And, did I mention speed?

Of course the Apps are nice but they are now prevalent across most mobile devices.  The one key difference I see is that apps eliminate the browser frame which is a big deal when there is limited space.

To me, there are broad implications for enterprises both in terms of risks and potential. Just like with cloud computing, there is great potential and the technology cannot be ignored. In fact, it can be exploited. That doesn’t mean, however, that there are no issues or risks. In fact, with the inclusion of public clouds and new mobile internet devices, most IT organizations existing information management strategies will be inadequate.

Insuring that companies can embrace new technologies and still protect and leverage their information are obviously things we think a lot about. I will spend more time on this in future posts.




Read More