by Lisa Banks

CIO Summit: Death, taxes and iPads

Jul 22, 20113 mins
MobileSmall and Medium Business

The increased prevalence of the iPads and other mobile devices in enterprises is now inevitable #8212; “just like death and taxes” #8212; Parsons Brinckerhoff’s CIO, Chris Johnson, told the CIO Summit in Sydney.

IDC Australia had earlier told the IT leaders at the summit that its research revealed mobility has risen dramatically as a CIO priority in the past 12 months.

Johnson and the CIOs of CSC and the Anglican Church of Australia #8212; participating in a panel discussion dubbed ‘Mobility in the New World Order’ #8212; all agreed that accepting rather than condemning the prevalence of mobile devices in the enterprise is vital

See all the action from the event in the CIO Summit 2011 slideshow.

The CIOs told the summit that they had moved past the shock of mobility and into acceptance.

CSC’s Ben Patey said he started looking at the company mobile strategy after bill shock became an issue.

“I looked at our telco space and our smartphone environment, which is a Blackberry environment, and I was shocked in terms of the costs in that space,” Patey said.

“I needed to move very quickly through to finding myself in a position where I could handle those costs and manage my staff.”

While he is still navigating the challenges of a mobile rollout, Patey said CSC has made steady progress.

“I’m still gathering information on the models I want to deploy and there are still a couple of steps to go for me,” he said. “I don’t support Macs in my company #8212; we have standard Microsoft offerings #8212; [and] we don’t support iPads or iPhones yet.”

George Lymbers from the Anglican Church of Australia said he was in a similar situation, with a younger generation of users driving demand for mobile devices.

“The fastest growing area of smartphone [adoption] is through our kids and we have to directly interact with them through mobile devices because it is the only way they will respond to us,” Lymbers said.

“One of the issues we had was that we had around 150 BlackBerry devices… they were cost effective, we had no real issues with them but we were getting complaints [about them] from customers.”

Parsons Brinckerhoff’s CIO, Chris Johnson, said the company accepted that iPads would make their way into the enterprise, and was an early adopter of Apple’s mobile technology as a result.

“We were very early adopters of iPads and iPhones… it came up through the ranks of the business, and as a smartphone, most of my team would agree that the iPhone is easy to use,” he said.

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