iPad Goes Corporate

By Jennifer Lawinski Print this article Print

Tablets will remake enterprise computing. Is your business ready to deploy, support, and profit from the next wave of personal technology?

See also our slideshow, Choosing the right tablet computer

Children's Hospital of Central California, one of the ten largest pediatric hospitals in the country, is letting clinicians use iPads to access and share patient information across in the 340-bed facility. The hospital has 450 physicians on staff and manages about 1,800 desktop computers and more than 3,000 users on its network.

This summer the hospital is launching new advanced clinical systems that users will be able to access on iPads using VMWare View to provide “Follow-me Desktops” that can move from room to room with staffers.

Welcome to the future of business technology  -- the tablet era. If your company isn’t making plans to deploy, support, and profit from the latest generation of mobile devices, you risk being left behind by competitors -- and shunned by talented workers.

“Dieticians want to be able to use the new iPad because currently they’re carrying two binders worth of information with them and they want to be able to take that iPad and go to the patient’s bedside,” says Robert Schellenger, a network engineer with the Children’s Hospital, in a YouTube video about the deployment.

Hospital vice president and CIO Kirk Larson says the decision to choose an iPad over a notebook computer had to do with ease of use.

“The end user device selection strategy was a very important one, and probably not surprisingly we have had some folks who have identified the iPad as their device of choice. It’s a device that is light, easy to use, easy to carry, and it’s something that is quite a bit quicker than having to find a desktop or carry a more cumbersome laptop. It’s something you can literally whip out of a lab coat pocket and be logged in within seconds,” Larson says.

Gartner predicts that nearly 55 million tablets will be sold in 2011 – a jump of more than 180 percent over 2010. And many of those tablets will wind up at work.

iPad leads the way. “It’s relatively standard to see somewhere between six and ten [people] -- in a ten-person meeting -- with iPads,” Chris Young, VP and GM of End User Computing for virtualization software maker VMWare, said in an interview with blogger Robert Scoble. “It’s really made it into the mainstream. Certainly in the technology industry and even as I go around to different customers who span many industries from financial services to manufacturing, you name it.”

And the launch of several competing devices will only add to the momentum. The market is being flooded with competition, from Motorola’s Xoom to Dell’s Streak, RIM’s Playbook and Cisco’s Cius. As more users bring more tablets – and a mix of iOS, Android and Windows-based systems -- the effect on business and IT will be profound.

This article was originally published on 2011-04-06
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