With the exception of the Creative Professional Market — which includes photographers, designers, film-makers, musicians, web designers, and architects, among others — Apple devices are not generally taken very seriously in the business marketplace.
Take, for example, the popular Mac vs PC ad campaign, which pits the stuffy all-business, button-up PC against the cool, young, hipster Mac. This marketing campaign is certainly not focused on getting the attention of enterprise and small business buyers. Yet with the iPad, this could all be changing for Apple, and changing fast.
There has been a lot of talk in the industry about whether or not a clear role exists for the iPad in enterprise. Apple makes mention of the iPad for Business on their website, and while Apple does provide an assortment of well-intentioned apps factory-installed on each device, the real enterprise-level app opportunities are coming out of the outside developer community.
According to a recent Citrix survey, an impressive 46% of users polled said that they are more productive at work as a result of using the iPad. Another 13% said that the iPad is now “mission critical” to their work! Not bad for a product which didn’t even exist a year ago.
Citrix’s recent iPad user survey also revealed that 77% of iPad owners want access to corporate resources on their iPad. Some predictable concerns also came up, with security, lack of support from Apple, and the perception of the iPad as an entertainment device being the highest barriers of entry.
As I read this survey, I began to think about some data I’ve collected from my own business client base. My business customers who use the iPad have similarly reported that their iPad does not replace their netbook or their desktop computers at all, but, in fact, serve to fill a brand new niche.
In fact, a Gartner Press release from November 4, 2010, entitled “Gartner to CEOs: Seize the iPad Opportunity Now” asserts:
“According to Gartner analysts, the iPad is not a notebook replacement for most users, but a valuable companion device.”
Now that’s interesting.
If you’re currently using your iPad for business, sound off in the comments section below. We’d like to know what sort of apps you’re using, what tasks have you moved from your normal workstation to your iPad, and what limitations are you experiencing working on the iPad.
If you want to plug into a cool resource, check out the “Citrix on iPad at Work” movement, where they urge you to “Tell your IT department why you need the iPad.”
By the way, this entire article was written on my iPad.