Mobilizing the Enterprise

Thoughts on SharePoint, Smartphones, and the future of enterprise productivity

Book Recommendation: iPad in the Enterprise by Nathan Clevenger

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You have seen iPads in coffee shops, buses, and airports.  You have been following Apple’s phenomenal 300% stock price growth since the launch of the first iOS device in January 2007. You saw Nokia and Blackberry users trade in their devices for iPhones while the stock market gave the companies a robust haircut. And most recently you have been listening to Apple’s last two earning reports highlighting the rapid adoption of the latest iOS device, the iPad, in the enterprise.  And all throughout this time, your users have slowly moved from pleasantly sharing their new devices with you to a raucous call for enabling deeper business productive solutions beyond email.  Technology adoption curves in business have rapidly sped up since the days of the PC simply because of the clear productivity and ROI benefits desktop computing provided during the 1990s and 2000s.  Mobile devices like the iPad now deliver ubiquitous computing and promise the next giant increase in corporate productivity.   As companies jump into mobile IT to maintain their competitive edge, there is a huge need to separate reality from hype and move from aspiration to operation.

iPad in the Enterprise by Nathan Clevenger is a comprehensive tome of knowledge that helps you understand today’s iPad opportunity and operationalize it within your business.  Nathan leveraged a tremendous set of mobile experts, corporate case studies, and real application examples when creating his book.  It is filled with detailed examples, analysis of real deployments, and numerous pictures to help readers get a broad and deep understanding of the business value and how IT can best purchase, roll out, secure, and deploy iPads.

The primary beneficiaries for Nathan’s book include business decision makers and IT decision makers who will find a wealth of information that saves them time in planning the rollout with details on all the pieces required to deploy iPads.  The business decision maker wants to understand the potential benefits of the iPad, decide whether build vs buy of the necessary infrastructure and applications is the best way to accomplish the business goals, and finally to understand the security and deployment needs of IT.  Nathan goes into depth for multiple vertical (legal, medical, sales, manufacturing, etc) and horizontal (document mgmt., business intelligence, etc) categories so that all readers will find tangible and lucid examples of the iPad potential.

The other beneficiary, the IT decision maker, needs to procure, secure, and deploy the mobile devices for the benefit of the business leader.  Detailed examples surface the value of secure access to IT business servers and data, the common requirements around security, the need for corporate app stores, mobile management systems, Apple corporate developer certificates, and other base procurement requirements that will help the IT decision maker speed creation and delivery of business apps.

Finally for mobile enterprise developers, there is the beginning of an “Enterprise iPad Logo Program” much like earlier Microsoft Windows enterprise desktop logo programs. Nathan provides guidelines and even some sample code for the core set of user experience, enterprise security, authentication, licensing, and deployment guidelines for consistent maintenance and management across all enterprise applications.  I certainly hope Nathan will develop this opportunity into a future book of developer centric practices and IT-centric requirements that enables IT to dramatically speed up deployment and reduce costs when deploying mobile apps into the enterprise.  Some readers will find this detail overwhelming and recognizing this, Nathan encourages readers to focus on certain chapters according to their roles.

Overall, I really enjoyed the breath and depth Nathan brings to making sense of iPads in the enterprise.  Armed with his knowledge, IT and business leaders will be able to quickly operationalize and derive business value from their iPads.

Written by daviddsouza

August 10, 2011 at 12:30 pm

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