Apple fans worldwide are getting excited about the anticipated launch of the company's new tablet device, currently referred to as the iPad 2 on the web and rumoured to be unveiled later today.
However, should IT leaders be caught up in the fervour as well, and will this device offer significant improvements over the first version for businesses?
Enterprises such as the BBC, British Army and SAP were so impressed by the iPad when it launched that they deployed the first version of it across their workforces.
Reports suggest that the new version will deliver even more business benefits, as it has been mooted that it will include a USB and dual-core processor. It will have the same 10-inch screen but should be lighter, thinner and faster.
Apple's most recent update to the iPad's operating software also bolsters the device's business credentials, according to Mark Heraghty, managing director at Virgin Media Business, with wireless printing and multi-application viewing.
He said that it is clear that the company is intent on making the iPad enterprise-friendly.
"With the launch of the iPad 2, the boundaries between what is a work gadget and what isn't have blurred even further," said Heraghty.
He warned, however, that in order to support such devices in the workplace, IT leaders will need to put in place a coherent security strategy.
"With the consumerisation of IT, there are two key concerns for business," he said. "Firstly, this is yet another channel through which corporate data can be stolen or misused – and secondly, will the corporate network take the strain?
"Developing clear usage policies and educating employees so that they understand why these practices are in place is key. Most organisations are happy for employees to use personal gadgets, such as iPads, as long as they register the device with IT in order to have the right security settings installed."
But one thing that looks certain is that tablet PCs will take enterprises by storm. Research firm Gartner said that there were 21m tablets sold to end users in 2010, and it expects this figure to rise to 154m by 2013.
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