Aussie Politicos Demand iPads, IT ‘Headaches’ Ensue



Parliamentarians in Western Australia demanded a trial of Apple’s tablet computer, waging the kind of epic battle between users and the IT department that happens in companies around the globe.

The lawmakers it so badly 15 of them threatened “industrial action” if iPads were not allowed on the list of devices for their laptop allowance after being told by the ICT gurus that the device did not yet meet existing IT infrastructure or security standards.

The politicos, however, had more power than the average Dilbert:

“We told them, ‘If you don’t give it to us, we will turn around and pass a law so you will give it to us!’ Then we refused to fill in the form for new laptops until they included the iPad as an option,” Andrew Waddell told ITNews in a detailed report.

So the IT department relented. The politicos love the iPad — just like their fellow lawmakers from Italy to the U.S. who have been adopting them faster than you can yay or nay.

“Even Steve Jobs wasn’t sure who the iPad was created for. I can tell you this: iPads were made for parliamentarians,” said Andrew Waddell.

But the iPad trial has proved one big ‘headache’ for the tech team.

Turns out the iOS platform and Safari browser are incompatible with some of the websites (and iPad perusers viewed incomplete information), so lawmakers then started demanding parliament’s IT department redo these websites. Then there were more compatibility problems with document formats and security issues (the lawmakers using DropBox) and so on.

So in the end, who won the iPad parliament trial?

Rod Bickers (nomen est omen?) CIO of Department of Premier and Cabinet says: “Does it replace the laptop? Anecdotally, so far I would say it doesn’t.”

We doubt, however, that the parliamentarians are going to give up the iPads now that they’ve got their hands on them.

Via IT News

  • Robert Norris Hills

    Wow. What a waste of our governments money time and resources. 

  • gnomehole

    yea, how dare they get a $599 iPad vs. a $1299 laptop.   Shame on them.

  • gnomehole

    IT refusing to support iPads because they dug themselves into a hole by doing things like coding web sites only to Internet Explorer deserve what they get…  outsourced.

    Then again a lot of business units refuse to pay to fix the mess they helped IT get into in the first place…  but its no Safari’s fault it can’t display crappy and poor programming.

    For future reference on both sides… code to any device, anywhere, anytime… and no that doesn’t mean flash regardless of who supports it or not.

    P.S. Citrix receiver fixes a lot of these headaches at least temporarily… even though Windows on a tablet is almost as bad as Android on a tablet.

  • xxarcticxx

    anyone proof read these articles? “The lawmakers it so badly 15…” wtf?

  • 300AShareMakesMeSmile

    They need to straighten out those knucklehead IT guys and get them to use HTML5 instead of that Adobe Flash crap.  I hope users keep putting pressure on those Windows-loving IT lapdogs until they get it out of their head that Windows is not the only OS to use for computing.

  • techgeek01

    Guess we first have to ask, what iPad did they get?  And what laptop would they have gotten? (or what did it replaced?)

    Last I checked, Apple dosen’t give much discount (if any).  On the other hand, usually, you get a nice massive discount on a laptop/desktop.

    even IF the ipad is cheaper than the laptop, is it really cheaper overal?

    The thing is, yes the iPad may be $500 and the laptop would be $1000, BUT the thing is, with the iPad they may need to have a laptop/computer as well, thus, making it more expensive.

    For example, with a $1000 laptop that could be your primary machine and what you would have used the iPad for.

    But, with the iPad, well yes its $500, but you may have need to get a $800, $1000 primary machine as well!

    And oh, there may be another cost,  as well.


    It may be CHEAPER to buy something more expensive because of security reasons than something that is cheaper.

  • kyerussell

    Yeah, your name sure hit the nail on the head.  You’re spouting semi-unrelated recycled BS that you’ve read on various forums and such so you can “fit in”.  Nobody talked about Flash, nobody talked about Windows…for all we know they could’ve been using MacBooks.

    Truth be told, Microsoft supports big business more than Apple does.  If you think you’re in a position to deny that, you’re the bad type of fanboy, the type that doesn’t even take logic into consideration.  I can’t blame any organisation for choosing Windows Server over Mac OS X server.  Windows Server just…delivers more when it comes to business features.  I’m not saying that I don’t love Mac OS X server, but Windows Server just makes sense for a lot more people.

  • kyerussell

    Yeah, we all know that the Australian government is a little ‘odd’ when it comes to IT.  most government websites are poorly thought-out and poorly coded, same goes for all their IT systems.  Maybe this’ll push the IT guys to get off their asses and do some proper work.

  • Robert Norris Hills

    Meaning the IT department re-writing their entire internal intranet because of a few trend hungry idiots. 

  • CharliK

    I was thinking the same thing. Unviewable websites could be an issue for more than just iPad users. And what if those websites are also for the public. Accessibility should be the  key there for sure. 

    Unsupported and unsupportable documents could be an issue for more groups etc. 

  • CharliK

    Who says they would have to rewrite the whole thing. Or that there are other advantages to them being forced to do it. 

    It’s possible that this rewrite was long overdue but no one had bothered to force it until now. why? Because it’s so costly. 

  • CharliK

    who is to say that they don’t have another machine anyway. a desktop in their offices. 

    and when iOS 5 and iCloud comes out (assuming it comes to Australia) that dependence will be vastly changed to in some ways removed

  • GH

    I hate when Apple bloggers refer to the iPad as a  “tablet computer”  I just don’t get it.

  • Bob Morein

    “being told by the ICT gurus that the device did not yet meet existing IT infrastructure or security standards.”.  Right, they don’t host every stinking windoze virus and trojan on the planet.  Those are standards?

  • Brooks Hanes

    Did you pay for this article? If you don’t like it don’t read it! ;) That said, I understand your complaint but also realize this is a blog, essentially, not a paid subscription.

  • ih8ie6

    I have worked in Western Australia government. Most of the IT departments were *still* using Internet Explorer 6 and refusing to budge off it due to the old “having to support legacy apps” meme. They are dinosaurs and WA sadly is still very much a Hicksville. When that is the “standard” foisted on them you can see why the users are rebelling and all wanting iPads. Windows has become synonymous with ancient buggy crap that runs slowly here.

  • Guest

    “We want iPads” “They don’t work on our systems” “Shut up, we want iPads” “No, they don’t work on our systems!” “Give us iPads or we’ll make you give us iPads.” “Fine, have iPads, but they won’t work on our systems” “Hey, these iPads don’t work on your systems! Fix it!”

  • Brittp2

    OUTRAGEOUS????!!!! OUT FREAKING OUTRAGEOUS, I lived in Hicksville NY for twenty years and am offended and OUTRAGED by your callus use of my home town to ridicule Western Australian Government IT Departments. I demand an immediate and sincere this time apology to the residents and former residents of Hicksville NY.