Do businesses need the iPad?

Is Apple’s new gadget just a toy, or could it find a home in the corporate world?

Early talk from analysts says the device could give companies a way to share and transport documents without using paper.

For example, instead of printing a 200-page report, employees could save the documents as a PDF on an iPad and pass the device around. That would not only cut down on paper, but also make the document easy to edit and search.

The iPad could also give workers in the field a way to enter data without using paper forms.

Of course, many things the iPad will do, a laptop can. But the iPad will have much longer battery life, without the need to power on and shut down.

Some IT pros have expressed concerns, such as a limited functionality (the iPad will run the OS designed for the iPhone, and like the iPhone, apps will have to be purchased through the Apple store) and a construction that may not be rugged enough for business use.

What do you think? Will your organization consider buying the iPad when it’s available? Why or why not?

Let us know in the comments section below.

  • Gary

    We’re all set to buy some to use as internal portal web browsers serving much of our data via web pages. Sure we can do so with a laptop but the interface (clam shell design) and relatively short battery life doesn’t make them practical. The iPad will fill this role much better. Longer term we will look to develop some custom apps to take better advantage of the device and gui.

  • Gary

    … that should have said “internal portable web browsers”…

  • I have the $800.00+ version of the iPad on order but might cancel on Monday after seeing the iPad in the store on Saturday. I am a Realtor and am paperless for all contracts and business. I am also a home inspector and am paperless there as well. There are a few problems for me as I see it:
    1. This is an over sized iPhone and does not run Mac OS Software. I cannot run my home inspection software on this platform. I can run it on Mac OS using Fusion or Parallels. The inspection software is written for a P C. This is a non starter for this business.
    2. I have all contracts for my Real Estate Business signed on a tablet using Journal Note Writer and a “pen” type of device. I do not see where this is available for the iPad. If the contract cannot be signed with a “pen” on the iPad, printed as a PDF and then e-mailed wirelessly, then I cannot use this for Real Estate.
    3. It would also be nice if the viewing area was the same size as a piece of paper so that the view of the contract would be the same viewing size as a paper contract. It needs to be view as one full complete page at a time.