Consumer tablets and eReaders, like iPads and the Kindle, are great for movies and books, surfing the web, and showing off family photos. But in the business world, they’re like the guy who thinks casual Fridays mean pajama bottoms and flip-flops. Or who forwards you cute animal videos every hour. Or who thinks an office pool party would be cool (“I do a mean cannonball, man!”). You get the idea.
The point is that you need a tablet that’s more comfortable in the boardroom than it is at the local pep rally. Here’s my list of reasons why consumer tablets are just bad for business:
Reason 1: They’re high on frivolity, low on functionality.
When the vast majority of the apps on your workplace tablets are games, it’s no fun. You want a tablet that functions as a mobile workstation, one with business-appropriate apps that boost productivity. According to Naked CIO, it’s “impossible for businesses to drive a development and application plan to utilize [consumer tablets] except in a business-to-consumer world but not internally or, in most cases, between businesses.”
Reason 2: Thieves like them.
Earlier this year, buyerzoneblogger posted the following: “Ironically, the same week that Apple boasted that 80% of Fortune 100 companies are currently experimenting with the iPad for business use, an Apple iPad security breach story from June resurfaced in the news. On January 18th, the FBI stepped in to charge two individuals over a security breach that affected over 120,000 Apple users, including CEOs, media company employees, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, government employees, politicians, and the U.S. military. It was reported that email addresses and other personal information were stolen.” Think twice before you use a consumer tablet to store or process sensitive information about your company or customers. At least make sure your tablets can be encrypted and locked remotely.
Reason 3: They drive IT crazy(er).
Consumer tablets often don’t always play nice with back-end systems. Business tablets allow IT administrators to do the voodoo that they do. IT can specify configuration settings in XML files, making it easier for users to connect to corporate networks and be productive more quickly.
Reason 4: Have you tried customizing thousands of them?
Sure, it’s not hard to customize your own device. Play around with the settings and put your favorite photo on the home page. But imagine you’re an IT department trying to install a corporate image with company-specific applications and settings on hundreds or even thousands of tablets. Business tablet makers frequently work with enterprise clients to simplify this process.
Reason 5: Their wimpy work ethic.
In short, consumer tablets just can’t do the work that business tablets are capable of. Technology journalist Joanna Stern, in her recent review, sums it up best when she says she wants “a tablet that lets me take my presentations to my clients; install my software in it for making live demos, sketching, and reading books; transfer files by Bluetooth; connect to my network office by open VPN.“
If you'd like some help understanding how your organization can take advantage of business-focused mobility technology from a broad industry perspective, read our quick eBrief. Find out how the problems associated with mobility — access, connection quality, and security — have essentially been solved through new application development, embedded broadband, and cloud computing.