Apple iPad 3: Is It Suitable For The Enterprise?

iPad 3

While the iPad has long been accepted by the consumer sector the business and enterprise sectors have had some difficulty fully embracing this tablet. Even now, as the iPad 3 is coming on the market, there are reasons for and against it being used in an enterprise.

Many of the updates from iPad 2 to iPad 3 mostly benefit consumers, such as better screen resolution and a stronger camera. However, the usefulness of the iPad 3 cannot be dismissed, either. This will discuss both sides of the fence so you can see if the iPad 3 fits your unique situation.

Reasons For

1. Battery Life

While the battery life has not been extended in the iPad 3, it does last long enough to fit into the common workday without any problems. During moderate usage a fully charged iPad 3 can last up to 10 hours. Even if you are using 4G connectivity the entire time, the iPad 3 can last about up to 8 or 9 hours. While that number will eventually decline as the iPad gets older, it is expected that it will be able to last through the workday even after you have had it for a long time.

2. Versatility

The Apple App Store currently has over 500,000 apps available for purchase and many of the business apps can transform the iPad into a whiteboard, a word processor and a digital briefcase. The vast number of business apps allows you to constantly add new functionality to the iPad 3. While this is not exclusive to the iPad 3, as the other models have access to these apps, it still does allow you to be flexible when using this tablet.

3. Power

No one would say the iPad 3 is stronger than a desktop or even a full laptop, because it isn’t. However, the iPad 3 is stronger than most netbooks that enterprises use. If your employees are currently carrying around netbooks then you will probably notice a performance increase by using the iPad 3. It has better hardware and the system works much faster.

Reasons Against

1. Locked with Apple

Apple itself is starting to become more versatile of a computer company, but most enterprises are still using the Windows OS. Many enterprises have found that they need custom programs, which requires the enterprise to slowly get locked into the Apple system. Apple hardware is needed to make the apps and many IT professionals often call the programming platform inflexible. This can make it difficult to really make and utilize custom programs.

2. Single App Use

Like the previous versions, iPad 3 can only use one program at a time. This is fine for consumer users and even some small businesses. However, most enterprise employees need to have at least two programs running simultaneously to work effectively. With the iPad 3 an employee would have to close one app and open another if he or she needed to use the features of another app. While this just wastes a few seconds it is both inconvenient and adds up to a large loss of time in the long-term.

3. Difficult to Use

The iPad 3 is made to be convenient and in many ways it is. However, it loses out with data input. The digital keyboard is sometimes hard to use and employees may accidentally hit other keys without meaning to. While the iPad 3 has voice dictation, it isn’t feasible for thousands of employees to speak at their iPad the whole workday. You can add a physical keyboard via Bluetooth, but then you practically have a laptop that lacks the major power of a real laptop. Your graphic design department, if you have one, will also suffer because it is difficult to control graphical input without the use of a mouse or tablet accessory.

Conclusion

Is the iPad 3 enterprise-ready? In some ways it is, but it seems to really miss the important parts. The typing difficulty and inability to use several apps at once can be very debilitating, especially when employees are expected to work their hardest throughout the day. While the battery life and versatility is definitely a boon, most enterprises will probably find it difficult to seriously convert over to the iPad 3 without feeling some problems during the transition.

Fergal Glynn is the Director of Product Marketing at Veracode, an application security company that offers a free cross-site scripting cheat sheet.