iPaddling in Corporate Waters

Computer Weekly, in an article I mentioned in my previous blog here, notes that Tablet device ownership among mobile employees increased from 33% in the second quarter of 2011 to 44%.That statistic dovetails quite neatly with a study from ComScore on Digital Omnivores: How Tablets, Smartphones and Connected Devices are Changing U.S. Digital Media Consumption Habits. Sorry, but I haven’t read it: I don’t fill in forms for reports that require me to give my phone number, unless I really, really want to read them. Still, the summary here gives some interesting data, even if it seems odd to consider a tablet (or even a smart-phone) a “non-computer”.

According to ComScore, tablets already contribute nearly 2% of all US web traffic, with the iPad responsible for about 97% of that traffic. It’s also responsible for more internet traffic than the iPhone. Well, that makes sense. The iPad has most of the functionality of a netbook in a far friendly package, and I’d certainly rather write a blog/read a novel/browse a web site on an iPad-sized screen than a smart-phone or an iPod touch (though I still prefer a real keyboard...)
But iPass believes that tablet devices are going to be used more and more in the workplace. As it happens, so do I, and have done for a good while. And while iGadgets remain a lot more secure in principle than Android devices, in my not-particularly-humble opinion, they present challenges that are not easily overcome in the corporate environment. As I suggested in a recent presentation at the Infosecurity magazine fall conference, in that environment the iPad becomes a business machine that looks recreational. Not only is it harder for an IT unit to balance business-necessitated access to corporate resources with centralized security, but getting that balance may actually nullify (some of) the advantages of the device. That issue isn’t unique to tablets, of course, but it certainly isn’t getting easier as iPaddling becomes an acceptable business process.
If you’re interested in that “The Tablet Craze: How will the iPad affect your organization’s security?” panel session, you can now hear and see the presentations and Q&A  (and the other panel sessions from the conference). Register here.

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