Wellcome Trust CIO extols the virtues of tablets

By Sooraj Shah
07 Feb 2012 View Comments
The iPad2's smart cover flow

The CIO of worldwide biomedical charity Wellcome Trust, Mark Bramwell, has revealed that the organisation has put 130 iPads in circulation across its workforce to eradicate logistical problems that its committees had in dealing with several hundred papers.

Bramwell told Computing that the charity enabled the use of iPads at work because it was a necessity for the business.

Further reading

"Our committees support the awarding of grant applications, meaning they have to deal with hundreds of papers. The physical process of producing [papers], printing them off, distributing them, recipients carrying them and transporting them was time-consuming and required a great deal of effort from the committee staff," he said.

Bramwell explained that iPads were introduced 18 months ago as part of a pilot and now the organisation has 130 iPads in circulation. He said the high number of iPads in circulation was because of the initial success of the launch.

"Various members of the executive board started using the iPads for work and it has since expanded out to our executive board committees and our board of governor committees."

According to Bramwell, the staff made a quick transition from using paper to using iPads and the organisation integrated email, Skype and document reading applications to support the tablets' use.

The Wellcome Trust has a "grown-up user policy" that allows employees to register their own corporate card and download consumer or enterprise applications of their own.

Aware of the need to be able to ensure that the devices are secure, Bramwell said that the Wellcome Trust's remit of responsibility for support and maintenance is for the hardware and the corporate applications that it delivers.

He added that staff can download their own applications at their own expense. If the application contains a virus, then the employee would be liable for any expenses accrued.

Bramwell said the only other challenge that the charity has incurred is a change in the working process.

"To get a document to an iPad, it may need to be converted into a PDF and a member of staff has to be responsible for managing distribution of that either into a collaboration site or to an email mailbox and this is something we had to consider," said Bramwell.

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