Today’s post is from Jennifer Marcus Newton, a freelance writer located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She routinely works from all the usual workshifting haunts–cafes, park benches, airports–and also maintains a tidy writing studio and messy home office. Her most remote work location was among the yaks in Shangri-La. Work/life balance for her means using both a Mac and fountain pen. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On April 3, iPad will hit the streets. And airports. And coffee shops. And all the other places people live, work and play. With just a few days away from the official release, everyone’s buzzing about iPad. We have to admit that here at Citrix Online, we’re eagerly anticipating the release, too. (And not just because we love innovative technology, but you’ll have to wait until Saturday to get any more details out of us.)
iPad is already stimulating people’s imaginations and piquing curiosity. One of the biggest questions people seem to have is who will be buying iPads? But folks are also wondering about how iPad will ultimately be used. Will it serve primarily as a media consumption device for surfing the Web, reading e-books and browsing photos? Or, is there a more serious side to iPad that will make it an indispensible business productivity tool? In other words, will it be all work or all play or something in between, like casual Friday?
So far, opinions vary widely. But from what we’ve read, many organizations have already announced plans to purchase iPads for company business. And we personally know a number of folks here at Citrix Online (without naming names) who simply can’t wait to take iPad for a spin, professionally speaking.
We, of course, are keenly interested in how iPad can be used for business. Obviously the ability to check email and work from the road are key attributes of any self-respecting business tool. And you know us–tools that help facilitate remote work and productivity are right up our alley. We’re also big fans of collaboration, and that’s what is especially compelling about iPad for business use. iPad’s exceptional visual capabilities are a perfect match for every flavor of collaboration–from presentations and demos to reviewing design specs and more. That, combined with iPad’s mobility, is why we believe iPad is set to become a favorite in the collaboration toolkit. And with the right business app, iPad’s mobility lays the foundation for enabling people to easily and effortlessly collaborate with anyone, from anywhere.
Let’s be honest. We love our laptops. We might even love our laptops a little too much (hey, who doesn’t?), but a laptop is not always the most efficient tool to use in every situation. Imagine, for example, that you’re about to board a plane but need to quickly access a file, document or app. Guess what? iPad is “instant on,” just like a phone. Turn it on. Access file. Take your seat. Using iPad will be as instant, efficient and simple as that. And should you need to access a file, document or application on the company server before boarding that plane, we’re optimistic that there will be numerous apps, particularly in the software-as-a-service category, making an appearance that will enable remote access, among other things.
Before going completely gaga over iPad for business, however, be prepared to face a little resistance from the IT department. Remember IT’s initial resistance to the iPhone? We all know how that little dance turned out. IT managers, realizing that they could do little to stem the tide of iPhones being used to access corporate email, astutely decided to go with the flow. The same is likely to happen with iPad. And perhaps there will be less resistance this time around since iPad is not replacing existing devices, but rather complementing them.
iPad’s success as a business tool will largely be determined by the availability and quality of business productivity apps. Judging by what we’ve seen so far (and it’s not even launch day yet), things look very promising. In fact, we think there will be no shortage of business-focused apps for the business-ready iPad. We’ll even go out on a limb and predict that half of all iPads out and about in the world will be used for business purposes in some way.
April 3 will soon be here. We’ll do our best to contain our excitement until then. You certainly won’t want to miss it. And if you’re stuck on what to wear, business casual is always a safe bet.
What do you think?
Photo Credit: S. Robbin