Leveraging iPads in the enterprise: Taking the “ready, aim, fire,” approach

June 5, 2012

By thinking through a few key issues and honing your “aim,” the integration process can be easier than most companies believe and that way you will hit your targeted goals when you finally “fire.”

To start, will the organization allow employee-owned devices, or purchase their own for employee use? Has the IT department evaluated all security and use-model issues?

While these are just a few of the questions that corporations need to ask, they are a good starting point.

To make sure you hit your intended mark, here are a few steps to consider when evaluating corporate iPad use:

1.   Be “Ready” for employee use. Defining exactly how employees will use iPads can go a long way in identifying integration and management strategies. Will the devices serve as productivity tools (e.g., supporting a large, remote sales team to convey a strong brand and consistent content) or exist in a retail environment to enhance the customer buying experience?

2.   “Aim” by defining a deployment plan. Once the intended device use is mapped out, the corporation can build a go-forward plan for how to integrate current technologies into the overall IT strategy. This plan should include: whether or not there will be a pilot project (recommended) to determine the feasibility of incorporating these devices; what kind of usage and security policies to enforce; and what kinds of apps and features to allow.

3.   “Fire” – What’s the rollout roadmap? The execution plan should start with a roadmap to mitigate risks associated with rogue apps or other unprotected uses of the company’s IP.  Engaging the lines of business in order to gain their buy-in for this type of process is imperative.  Ensuring the VP of Sales understands the positive impact of the iPad on the sales force, or that the right stakeholders know how pilots will benefit from the use of a tablet versus the “big black suitcase” is critical to overall success.

4.   “Reload and keep firing” – Build a control plan. You need to make sure you never lose sight of the intended targets, so mobile device management (MDM) is an absolute requirement, and for good reason. Implementing MDM solutions before deploying will let corporate IT enforce policies, wipe lost or stolen devices of sensitive data, and push new updates that guarantee consistency in how these devices are being used by employees at all times, all ensuring a true aim on the results.

Mobility and the consumerization of IT are changing the business world for the better. As consumers continue to expand their own use of tablets to the workplace, employers are more pressed than ever to identify best practices for leveraging these devices. 

By considering the points above, corporations can ensure successful rollouts and start experiencing the benefits that these tools can provide without the agony of missing the mark.

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