The Apple iPad: Today’s Mobile Computing Solution for Business.
Imagine … you’re running late for that all-important meeting. It’s the deal clincher. There is a strong possibility the client will sign the contract today. It could mean A LOT of money for your company and maybe that promotion you’ve been waiting for. Instead of having to frantically rummage for your presentation files and the like … you simply pick your iPad, put it in your bag, walk out the door and you’re ready to go!
With the constant changes in technology and the fourth (and shortly the fifth) generation of the iPad available on the market, this scenario has become a reality for many organisations around the globe.
It can be said Apple created history in April 2010 with the introduction of the iPad. In fact, more than 3 million copies were sold in the first 80 days of its release.
What’s more … the iPad also managed to penetrate 50% of Fortune 100 companies within 90 days of its release. As a result, it was immediately linked to reduced paperwork and an increase in revenue and employee productivity.
But here lies the point of contention.
Is the iPad designed more for consuming content rather than creating it as widely debated? If so, why then are many businesses adopting this progressive technology as a productive mobile computing device?
As a stand-alone item, the iPad is like any other computing machine. It’s not until you add the appropriate apps and accessories that it transforms into a functional tool.
The major advantage of the iPad is its portability. Whatever the application – professional or personal use, Apple designed the iPad with the user in mind. It’s slim-line and easy to cart around – weighing just over 600 grams.
It’s also easy to switch on. There is no bootup time like a laptop and it connects effortlessly to a wireless network … or even a projector. This may not seem important, but in terms of productivity, this saves time in meetings and presentations. You no longer have to carry around cords, plug then unplug them – unless you forget to charge it. This usually isn’t a problem since the iPad has 10 hours of battery life.
It’s time to get rid of the paperwork.
It’s also a great way of showcasing your business to potential clients at conferences and exhibitions: not having to flip through unnecessary paperwork or lug brochures and other marketing material which can be shown by simply switching the power button on.
Again … its ease of portability means you’re not stuck at a desk behind a laptop: you can walk around any conference or exhibition with your tablet and network.
In terms of accessing work from your desktop: all this information can be synchronised with iCloud through apps like SugarSync, Box.net and Dropbox, or even Apple’s own iDisk. So, if you do forget some paperwork while on the road – the problem is easily resolved.
Even creating presentations, manipulating spreadsheets, writing blogs (like this one!) can be done on the iPad. It’s about having the right programs, like QuickOffice Pro HD; or apps for sales staff like Fileboard and Keynote – to get the job done.
… And if you do want the experience of a laptop or desktop computer, you can add a wireless keyboard case and mouse. The case not only houses the tablet but provides a compact keyboard to users who are not comfortable typing directly on the iPad screen.
A versatile tool for business.
The aviation industry is a great example of showcasing the iPad’s usefulness in business. Many airlines have embraced this technology in their day-to-day operations right through to their sales and promotions.
In fact, 12 months ago, Australia’s leading airline – Qantas – phased in the iPad for their pilots. They did this to reduce the amount of paperwork they need to lug on board and the amount of back and muscle injuries being reported.
Qantas now also provide an iPad for each of its passengers on their 767 fleet of planes. Being so slim-line, these are easily placed in the pocket before each seat and used as an inflight entertainment tool.
This means … they not only save on the printing costs of their inflight magazine (adding to their bottom line), but can keep the most rambunctious of children preoccupied for hours.
They even created history by premiering the new kid’s flick, ‘Planes’ on – you guessed it – a plane!
It was reported on every major news station around the globe that Qantas provided all its V.I.P.’s and their children a personal Apple iPad to watch this movie as they flew in sky for a couple of hours. Definitely a PR success for Qantas, Apple and Disney … and the amount of money they saved on promotions: priceless.
Let’s face it … the versatility of the iPad in practical business applications is only limited by your imagination, but it’s not about switching it on and expecting the world. It’s about researching and speaking to experts (like Nortec!) about the apps and accessories available and applying this knowledge to make it a functional tool.
It’s not like the good old days when there were only a few choices of software and technology. Today, the choices are endless – and the iPad is only a start to boundless possibilities!
Don’t compromise your security.
While the iPad technology is great in fast-tracking sales and productivity and eliminating paperwork, there is a definite risk in putting company files on a mobile computing device (not to mention, what a disgruntled worker may do with your confidential information!). The good news is, there are measures you can implement to safeguard your business – you just have to ask.
So, if you’re not sure which direction to take with mobile computing: don’t feel dismayed. Nortec’s technical staff are available to offer you practical solutions to manage your mobile computing business and its security. For detailed information, please contact us at [email protected] or 02 9894 9514.