iPad continues to gain traction in government circles
Survey finds agencies quick to adopt Apple's tablet
- By Kathleen Hickey
- Nov 19, 2010
Government agencies are quickly adopting Apple’s tablet computer, the iPad, belying the slow-to-change technology image usually associated with Uncle Sam.
Although the computer was only recently introduced earlier in the year, its adoption rate appears to be giving credo to the hype.
In fact, the government sector could even be described as among the fastest adopters of the technology, according to a recent survey released Nov. 15 by Good Technology, a provider of enterprise software for the iPad. While the financial sector was the lead adopter of the iPad (36.8 percent of firms surveyed), about 8.3 percent of government or public-sector organizations (the fifth largest group) were also using the technology, not far behind the high-tech sector’s 11.4 percent adoption rate.
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Another survey, announced Nov. 9 by mobile service management software company BoxTone, found accelerating iPad adoption rates. Seventy-three percent of the 1,200 IT professionals surveyed expect to deploy the iPad and other Apple iOS devices within the next 12 months, with more than a quarter expecting to do so immediately. Additionally, more than half plan to deploy at least one iPad application in the next 12 months, with a quarter anticipating three or more. Respondents were from more than 800 enterprises, government agencies and managed services providers.
Federal, state and local alike are exploring the technology, which proponents say improves productivity and efficiency while reducing costs and paper usage.
Recently, Government Technology’s Matt Williams reported that the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) is pilot testing the iPad.
Doug Holt, deputy executive director of DIR and one of the technology testers, cited increased productivity: he can quickly retrieve e-mail, check his calendar and access the Internet, including DIR’s main website and Salesforce.com, which he uses in managing the department’s business. He also takes hand-written notes on the tablet that are transcribed using a software application, Williams reported.
Utah Chief Technology Officer Dave Fletcher is another convert, as is, apparently, the Saskatchewan government, which issued iPads to its Cabinet ministers this month, Williams writes. Earlier in the year, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg remotely managed the country with the device when ash from Iceland’s erupting volcano shut down European air traffic and stranded him in the United States, reported CNN.
Kathleen Hickey is a freelance writer for GCN.