Dec 232011

If you don’t already have an Apple iPad or similar type of “pad”, odds are good you will soon. They are gaining in popularity at light speed, and CIOs are finding the need to integrate the use of pads into their corporate technology strategies.

I didn’t rush out to get an iPad when it was announced, but what I discovered was that those who started using them really liked them. Then, every major vendor started producing their own version of the pad. My wife and son now have iPads and I chose an HP TouchPad even though production has been discontinued. It serves my needs just fine for the time being.

There are reasons the pads will continue to grow in popularity within corporate environments:

  • Bigger screen makes it more practical to work on them
  • Professionals are using them instead of pen and paper for notes, scheduling, etc. (i.e., PDA and notepad functions)
  • Portability and bigger storage give people access to significant amounts of reference material. For example, airlines are starting to put pilot reference manuals onto pads which eliminates the big heavy briefcases you see pilots toting. You will see things like this in virtually every industry.
  • Low cost to purchase — and the cost will only come down over time
  • Low cost to operate with minimal power consumption

Business will migrate to pad technology as the it becomes more and more PC-like. They will gradually drop desktops and laptops except for power users. What this means in the short term is that IT organizations will be supporting many more devices as many users will use both a traditional desktop or laptop as well as a pad.

Laptops are here for a long time, but the desktop is going to become a dinosaur in 5 years.

[Editor’s Note: This post is part of the annual “Cutter Predicts …” series, compiled at the Cutter Consortium website.]


  One Response to “Pads Will Rule the World — But Won’t Replace the Laptop”

  1. avatar

    Pads are good for the battery longevity and this is important to the average traveller. However, other than that the pad concept does not really work like those of the smartphone or laptop variety, the biggest problem is still its awkwardness to hold and to use in a truly comfortable way. If you carry a laptop you don’t have worry about anything it’s all there and apart from outdoor spaces, mains sockets are prevalent. There is always the possiblity that battery technology will truly evolve for laptops but even so, most people who want an all in one solution will carry a ‘top’ not a ‘pad’. The concept will always be flawed for tablets unless note taking and sketching turn out to be a big draw.

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