iPad's Success Demands IT Change Its Thinking - InformationWeek

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iPad's Success Demands IT Change Its Thinking
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AS71
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AS71,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/20/2012 | 10:54:44 PM
re: iPad's Success Demands IT Change Its Thinking
Agree, there are no alternatives to BYOD or, more generally, eliminating client side application dependencies, unless IT wants to install and take down a proprietary (BES style) infrastructure every year. Even if you can dictate to internal users client OS and device standards, external (customer facing) applications will need to be seamless from one HW configuration and OS to the next. People are going to have to re-architect for an open world that isn't dominated by Microsoft on the desktop and RIM on the device.

I think the next step is eliminating the client side script and utility distinctions between mobile and desktop browsers/apps. As soon as software developers stop writing client side JavaScript, disparate HTML/rendering layers, and using proprietary client side tools (Flash), we can get to the point where, for the most part, a browser is a browser, regardless of underlying OS, hw spec requirements, etc. From that stage, applications can be served without having a mobile version and a Windows desktop version. When users can pull their provisioned data/apps off of the server to any number of devices without application rewrites, IT will be able shift with minimal effort to whatever client side device comes along next. The less development on the client side, the better for client side flexibility. I don't really care if it is iPad or not, but it is going to be something other than only Windows and RIM.
GMADSEN000
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GMADSEN000,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/17/2012 | 5:47:01 PM
re: iPad's Success Demands IT Change Its Thinking
What about securing the documents that are sent through email with the ability to kill, track and control? It seems that a document centric approach helps protect the most sensitive data even on un-trusted devices, even after they have been down loaded or backed up on a thumb drive.
Check out www.watchdox.com
JimD-ITguy
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JimD-ITguy,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/17/2012 | 5:12:09 PM
re: iPad's Success Demands IT Change Its Thinking
Bob,

I was trying for the style to be challenging not condescending. Good callout, I will try ensure it does not drift into being condescending in the future. Probably a little too much help from the editors.

On the knowledge workers, I am not saying they are the most important but they are the next major group that will shift that will enable critical mass on tablet and mobile applications in the workplace. I think you can divide up the workforce into 5 groups: those who are interfacing with the customer (front office) such as everyone from a financial advisor to a retail store employee to a salesman; those whose work requires mobile physical presence ( mobile worker) such as claims adjuster, construction manager, mechanic, driver, etc; those who handle production tasks in a controlled environment (back office) such as check processing, claims handling, medical review, accounting; those who are managers, analysts, administrators (knowledge workers) and I would split out developers, IT engineers, CAD/CAM, medical research, etc as a separate group (let's call them deep knowledge workers). There may be other categories but I think this covers most.

The mobile workers are already (and for some time) are moving to either specialized handheld units or to tablets. The Apple retail store shows how you can equip front office staff with tablets or smaller touch devices and make them really effective. And when the knowledge workers shift as well (and I see this in the corporate environment - it is like when blackberries cam in 15 years ago, everyone wants one, and they use it for most of their daily work) you now have critical mass. deep knowledge works and back office will continue to be the mainstay of the PC world for the next 3 to 5 years. I think the deep knowledge workers will transition when you have a great device that has good docking capability with almost no feature loss to a dedicated PC. So, knowledge workers are not the biggest, but they are not a niche, and they will swing the focus from PCs-Internet to tablets/mobile-Internet for corporate applications.

Is that any more compelling?

Thanks, Jim



JimD-ITguy
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JimD-ITguy,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/17/2012 | 4:52:18 PM
re: iPad's Success Demands IT Change Its Thinking
I think a good challenge as to why BYOD. I think a primary driver is that employees of companies prefer to choose their own device. And they do not necessarily want to carry around two. And if you can securely partition the device so that you can handle your work in one area and the corporation can support it, then that is often optimal. If you look at company-owned devices, especially for large companies, because of legal implications and so on, the company must disable or monitor most of the desired features on such a device. They become bricks that can only do corporate email. And when you add in reduced cost, I think it becomes compelling. What alternatives are you seeing in your company or organization?
Philippe Winthrop
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Philippe Winthrop,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/15/2012 | 2:43:23 PM
re: iPad's Success Demands IT Change Its Thinking
Agreed that BYOD is not the only solution. There's an emerging model called COPE: Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled http://t.co/QeuVjrh8
AS71
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AS71,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/15/2012 | 6:52:48 AM
re: iPad's Success Demands IT Change Its Thinking
I think if leaders are interested in costs they understand that allowing one vendor (Microsoft) to have zero price competition is not beneficial. Why have PCs dropped in price three fold over the past 15 years while the software on them has stayed flat or increased? Competition, or a lack thereof. The best way forward is to make the client side OS and device an afterthought and put everything on open standards on the server.

The client-server (Wintel) architecture made everyones' lives much more difficult when it became the standard. Prior to client-server, everyone had one mainframe with terminals which basically never went down, had bullet proof security, centralized data, and companies needed to manage one large computer as opposed to running around managing/updating hundreds or thousands of small computers. If it was about efficiency or making lives easier, Wintel would not exist. This transition is moving back to a mainframe like model where all of the computing is done in the data center and the client side is there to show users what has been computed.

The client OS hardware is irrelevant. Have a server with a GPU serve those compressed photos instead of a client side device. As long as client side computers have the juice to run a network adapter and open a browser, all of the computing horsepower is on the server.
AS71
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AS71,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/15/2012 | 6:32:31 AM
re: iPad's Success Demands IT Change Its Thinking
I agree that BYOD is probably not the optimal method of provisioning devices, but I think IT just wants to be out of the business of determining what devices users "need" to have next year. If they can just manage any device from the device agnostic software level, with a Q1 Labs type solution, that is going to easier than setting up the BES equivalent infrastructure for whatever device is hot next year.

I think he is pretty much right that tablets are not going to be the primary computing device for every user, but the vast majority will be able to use tablets, or maybe even smartphones with full OSs in the next couple of years, plugged into a monitor of some sort. Most users only have productivity running locally on the client and everything else is on a server which only requires access to a browser. The only reason they have productivity on the client is that Microsoft owns the market and is protecting Windows. I think in the next few years the horsepower in a smartphone will be enough to provide users with the client side computing power they need. Just enough to open a browser and connect to their applications on the server.
AS71
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AS71,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/15/2012 | 6:18:10 AM
re: iPad's Success Demands IT Change Its Thinking
Apple has competitors, so they have to move quickly. Microsoft was able to release a viable desktop OS every ten years and not get their clock cleaned because they didn't have any competitors.
BOBBRUNO
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BOBBRUNO,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/15/2012 | 12:50:57 AM
re: iPad's Success Demands IT Change Its Thinking
Jim, I intend to read one more comment from you to make up my mind, because I agree that IT is generally picking the wrong way of dealing with business demands. But your logic on this one was mostly plain wrong, and you writing style is just bad:
1) You assume that knowledge workers are the single most important IT client around. IT is very much about making operations work faster, leaner and cheaper - Knowledge workers are, by definition, a niche. An important one, but your punchline is just plain wrong;
2) You failed to describe an actual business situation in your punchline - you chose to use a hype tech to lure people to your article. That's just bad marketing practice;
3) You chose a condescending style to write your article. That's why I am not even trying to be nice with you. Did you like it ? I bet not, and that's how IT people who should be move by your article will be nothing more that disgusted and reactive. You did a disservice to your readers.

Therefore, because I think the point you raised to be relevant, I'll give you one more chance to do it right. Next time, you go to my spambox rules. Bye.
WW Thinker
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WW Thinker,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/14/2012 | 11:01:12 PM
re: iPad's Success Demands IT Change Its Thinking
Since when are the bankers, and to most part the business leaders, truly understand the true capabilities of a "mobile computing device". Most of them are using other people's money for things anyway.

In truth, media tablet (the category in which iPads and all the Android tablets fall under) is simply a different form-factor than a notebook PC with the key difference being the keyboard. However, given that people almost always purchase a media tablet with a protection cover, a keyboard (can be made of plastic, glass or whatever) of the notebook PC form-factor serves the same purpose with more function (keyboard). Such concept was talked about since the era of Information Appliance back in CY1997 at Comdex! It was economically and practically feasible at the time, but it is now. But then, with more and more people shelling out money to buy things, no matter how much stupidity and hype are involved, the economy will get a significant boost.
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