Survey: Enterprise iPad Adoption On The Rise

Enamored by its form factor and user experience, the iPad has become a hot commodity in the enterprise, according to a new survey by mobile service management software developer BoxTone.

The survey of nearly 1,200 IT administrators and business executives at more than 800 enterprise companies and government agencies found that 73 percent are planning to deploy the iPad and other Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) iOS devices in the next year. More than 25 percent of those companies said they will initiate their iPad deployments "immediately."

Forty percent of those queried said they're expecting iPad deployment growth in the range of 20 percent or more in the next year and 50 percent said they plan to install at least one iPad application in the next year with 25 percent projecting to deploy at least three new iPad applications in the next 12 months.

"The iPad could be part of one of the biggest IT asset expansion and replacement waves of the last two decades," BoxTone CEO Alan Snyder said in the report. “Companies are just now budgeting for large scale rollouts in 2011, with most organizations viewing the iPad as a high-value application delivery platform."

Like so many other compelling devices and applications that first began as consumer-centric novelties, the iPad is being marketed to the enterprise as an effective and cost-efficient alternative to laptops and notebooks.

On Oct. 15, AT&T announced it would begin selling the iPad directly to its enterprise customers, offering a corporate service subscription at a discounted rate.

"iPad is a great fit for our enterprise customers across a wide range of industries who are looking for ways to increase business productivity and offer greater flexibility," Michael Antieri, president of the recently formed Advanced Enterprise Mobility Solutions group, a division of AT&T (NYSE: T) Business Solutions, said in a statement.

Perhaps more important to enterprises mulling iPad deployments, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) in September said it would begin offering its Google Docs productivity suite for the iPad and Android-based mobile devices, giving mobile enterprise users access to the key collaboration and word processing apps from their devices.

"Enterprise CIOs are telling us that the iPad is quickly finding its way into the C-suite and across various lines of business" Maribel Lopez, founder and principal analyst at Lopez Research, said in statement. "This survey validates what we are hearing and emphasizes that organizations are seeing the value the iPad can deliver to the business including faster information delivery to take action, increased transaction velocity and more responsive customer service."

The survey also found that 87 percent of respondents said their top requirement for bringing iPads into their organizations was secure configuration and deployment. Along those lines, 44 percent said that preparing their help desk for iPad support would be a "major initiative."

Apple isn't the only vendor aggressively targeting the enterprise with tablet devices.

Last month, HP rolled out its Slate 500 device, a Windows 7-powered tablet retailing for $799 that was designed explicitly for business users. The BlackBerry PlayBook from Research In Motion, as well as the Cisco Cius, are also tablets targeted at the enterprise.

Larry Barrett is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.


Android, iPad, Apple, tablet PCs, Enterprise