by Michael Friedenberg

Are CIOs Embracing the iPad?

Sep 23, 2010
CIOConsumer ElectronicsTablets

CIO magazine CEO Michael Friedenberg has noticed a surprising number of iPads in the hands of CIOs during his travels.

While walking the halls at some of our recent CIO events, I noticed something unexpected. It seems like quite a few of those 3.2 million iPads that shipped in the second quarter ended up in your hands. I find this surprising, given that Apple’s market share in the business sector is so low.

As IDC (a sister company to CIO’s publisher) reported last month, Apple’s share of the global PC market is roughly 3.5 percent, yet its fastest-growing segment last quarter was large enterprises.

Perhaps there are other market forces (such as looking cool?) at work in the corner office.

Maybe you’d say that you needed that iPad to explore the cutting edge (and stay in touch with your inner gadget geek). Maybe you wanted to experience firsthand what your employees will be asking you to ­support.

Or maybe Forrester analyst Ted Schadler hit the nail on the head in his article in our Sept. 15 issue when he wrote, “Companies that empower their employees to use these tools have a leg up on those that lock down systems.” (See “CIOs: Empower Your Employees’ Use of Consumer Tech.”) He pointed out that CIOs have a critical role to play here due to your “security acumen, purchasing power and operational ability.”

I find it fascinating that consumer market pressures are having such an impact on the business landscape.

Even though I’m not an Apple lover or a Mac user, I took the leap into the iPad pond. Much to my surprise, this device really does offer some impressive functionality. The portability and long battery life are a bigger deal than I imagined, and I love the fact that I don’t have to take it out of my bag while going through airport security.

But what makes the meteoric rise of the iPad really stand out for me is, of course, the CIO angle. Instead of following your more traditional (perhaps stereotypical) role of blocking a consumer technology from enterprise use, you’re standing up to be counted among the earliest adopters.

Kudos to all of you, and to Steve Jobs for creating a device able to leap tall consumer boundaries and land right in the enterprise. Are CIOs and iPads the ultimate odd couple, or the wave of the future?

Michael Friedenberg, President and CEO