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Enterprise iPad adoption accelerating

Mobile Service Management software specialist BoxTone on Tuesday announced results from surveys of nearly 1,200 U.S.-based IT professionals and line-of-business executives at more than 800 enterprise firms, government agencies and managed services providers, suggesting that enterprise adoption of the iPad is accelerating.

BoxTone software centrally controls Apple iPhone and iPad, BlackBerry, Google Android, Nokia Symbian and Windows Phone mobile devices; BlackBerry Enterprise Server, Microsoft ActiveSync and Good Technology mobile connectivity platforms, and whose clients include one in three Fortune 100 companies, three in five of the largest U.S. federal agencies and three of the top five IT service providers.

Key findings from the BoxTone survey show that:

• 73 per cent of respondents expect to deploy the iPad and other iOS devices within their organisations in the next 12 months, with more than a quarter expecting to rollout “immediately”
• Nearly 40 per cent of those surveyed anticipate iPad deployment growth in the range of 20 per cent or more over the next 12 months
• More than 50 per cent plan to deploy at least one iPad application in the next 12 months, with a quarter anticipating three or more

“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 comments in a release. “Impressed by its form factor and user experience, companies are just now budgeting for large scale rollouts in 2011, with most organisations viewing the iPad as a high-value application delivery platform. In addition, with the upcoming release of iOS 4.2 for the iPad, the enterprise will be able to tap into enterprise-grade Mobile Device Management capabilities from BoxTone to accelerate adoption in a safe and manageable way.”

BoxTone conducted three Webinars on the topic of securing and managing enterprise iPads at the point of use from October 13-27, during which an interactive polling feature was used to collect responses from attendees. Half of the survey participants were from Fortune 100 companies, and nearly one-third of participating enterprises were in the Fortune 500. Over 10 per cent of all respondents were members of the executive tier and C-suite.

Maribel Lopez of Lopez Research, which focuses on the communications environment notes that “Enterprise CIOs are telling us that the iPad is quickly finding its way into the C-suite and across various lines of business. This survey by BoxTone validates what we are hearing and emphasises that organisations 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.”

On the topic of iPad management, 87 per cent of those surveyed cited the process for secure iPad configuration and deployment as their primary requirement. In addition, 44 per cent said readying their help desk for iPad support would be a major initiative.

“Enterprise iPad adoption is hewing closely to the established Technology Adoption Lifecycle (TALC) model, which governs the wide-scale enterprise adoption of new technology,” adds Snyder. “So IT organisations must prepare now – with help from BoxTone Mobile Service Management software – to securely connect, scale support, optimise performance and maximise business impact from their iPad and associated app deployments.”

IT roles were heavily represented in the survey, with 35 per cent engineering or architecture; 25 per cent security or compliance; and 20 per cent operations or service desk. The broad cross section of attendees suggests enterprises are treating iPad enablement as a strategic initiative closely tied to business drivers.