Time is money. If so, the iPad is capable of saving enterprises big cash due to its ability to free employees from the desk. One company integrating the iPad into its work environment is Business Intelligence software maker MicroStrategy. The company now uses 2,300 iPads at its $454 million software firm.
Soon after MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor saw his first iPad in April 2010, the company gave its entire sales force the tablets, replacing Windows laptops. The firm created iOS apps for customers, as well as employees.
“The iPad is the ultimate information consumption device,” Dan Kerzner, senior vice president for mobile operations, recently said. Indeed, the company has reshaped itself into an iOS developer, producing tools allowing customers to create their own mobile iOS Business Intelligence apps.
Internally, MicroStrategy created its own iOS app, the Corporate Request Center. Here, rather than stuck at a desk doing paperwork, employees with an iPad are freed to complete expense reports, file time-off requests or work on employee reviews anywhere.
“In the past, all these would have to wait until I got back to my desk,” Hugh Owens, mobile marketing director at MicroStrategy, told Network World. “Now all these specific requests are in my app and I can see them and act on them any time of the day,” he said. Owens said he reads internal reports on his iPad before getting out of bed, running reports and checking upcoming activities while making breakfast.
Although security in the past had made some enterprises question using an Apple iPad or iPhone, iOS is described as being “very adequate” for IT departments. At MicroStrategy, all iPads are locked-down with 256K AES encryption and passwords. After three minutes of inactivity, devices are automatically locked. The ability allows the company to provide differing levels of security to different devices.
As for the future, there is no turning back. MicroStrategy envisions mobile devices as part of the future workplace and enterprises will need to adapt.