There is no question that the iPad is quickly making its way into the Enterprise. Business leaders are beginning to see the value, or at least are recognizing the potential of this form factor, and are pushing hard towards Enterprise adoption. As new use cases emerge, and as more iPads enter the enterprise primarily through BYOD (Bring your own device), IT has good reason to be concerned. Here are 5 potential challenges to Enterprise iPad Adoption that every IT leader will need to overcome.
The Most Appropriate iPad Ownership Model
In many cases, enterprise users are purchasing their own iPads for consumer use and bringing them to work expecting to access corporate applications and data. bJeff Burt highlights this trend in a recent article in eWeek. He sites an IDC study that states:
40 percent of devices that information workers use to access business applications are personally owned, a 10-point jump from 2010.
This trend is not going away anytime soon, so IT needs to get on board and establish policies for management control over devices used this way, but that control needs to be accompanied by clear agreements with the device owner about types of access.
How to Handle Mobile Device Management
Regardless of ownership model questions remain as to the how IT is going to manage the myriad of devices in the IT ecosystem. Many of these device management challenges arose earlier as smartphones proliferated, so several IT infrastructure support companies already provide device management and provisioning platforms. Companies will need to solidify their mobile device management (MDM) strategies as well as their mobile application management (MAM) strategies.
Integrating iPad Apps with Corporate Data
This challenge is twofold. First the apps have to be able to access corporate data stores and second, data is being created much faster than IT has had to deal with before. Cloud and other outsourcing technologies are becoming a part of most IT strategies, but the challenges of adapting to this new way of looking at data access and storage have to be taken into account. Likewise, many of the services available for integration were written for the traditional application portfolio, and some do not address the unique integration demands that the iPad puts on the services layer.
Adapting the SDLC
The iPad requires a different way of looking at the application development process. Many IT organizations will try to apply traditional or Agile SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) processes to iPad app development. This presents two problems: First, the skill sets needed for iPad app development are not likely to be found in the typical IT team. Second, traditional SDLC processes do not translate nicely to the iPad app development process. Enterprises will either need to adapt their SDLC to fit the new challenges of app development or outsource the development to proven companies.
Security and Risk Management
This is probably the biggest area of concern for IT. Smartphones have already started to challenge traditional IT security and risk management practices. Device level security has been a part of what IT has had to deal with the last few years. However, the iPad is going to be more about corporate apps, so these security practices will need to go beyond the device level security. Audit will also become a major challenge.
Dealing with these challenges efficiently and quickly is critical for IT. Business people are jumping on the iPad bandwagon, and IT needs to be right there with them.