One reader’s response to my last blog post got me thinking about whether Apple is missing a great opportunity by pushing the iPad as the next great consumer product. I think it’s entirely possible that the device could be equally radical in the Enterprise.
Consider these use cases:
- A “Portable Portal” – a Corporate Dashboard, complete with Widgets that travel with you!
- A “Virtual Meeting Machine” – think Superman: The Movie, where a real meeting room is populated by virtual Kryptonian judges (this will be especially well suited to version 2 of the iPad – you know, the one with the webcam).
- A “Clean Hands Whiteboard” – idea sharing without the mess! Envision a meeting room full of iPad users (virtual or local), drawing on a shared whiteboard in real-time, while not having to worry about assigning someone at the end of the meeting to be the poor sap who has to transcribe everything.
- An “Alert, Alert, Alert Communicator” – to do’s, meetings, events, hardware failures, and anything else you can think of can be pushed to you in real-time.
- A “Collaboration Destination” – from Corporate Help Desks, to pre-sales demos, to customer support, there’s a real-time, multi-media, collaboration app for that (or will be, anyway).
- A “Stand Up and Shout Data Capture Device” – get off your duff and do some work! You can easily use this device to collect information while standing – a must have for many businesses (think inventory management, POS, healthcare).
- A “Satisfy Security Sandbox“ – with support for VPN’s, WPA2, Digital Certificates, LDAP, and more, the iPad should satisfy even the strictest of IT Security groups.
- A “Green Machine” – forget about printing out 20 copies of a 30 page pdf only to see them thrown in a blue bin just 2 hours later. Do your work and save a tree in the process!
I know what you’re thinking – these use cases can either be accomplished or are already attainable by using laptops, or Google Wave, or LiveMeeting, or some other combination of hardware and software.
But with the iPad, there’s no lugging around a 4 pound machine, unwinding a cable that can’t be unwound, waiting for the OS to boot up, or figuring out why the cryptic code I just typed in to LiveMeeting won’t work. Plus, it’s an instant-on machine that has a fantastic battery that will last a business professional the entire day (including overtime, yippee!).
I’d love to hear your ideas on how the iPad could be used in the workplace!