iPads in the enterprise: Pondering the headaches

iPads in the enterprise: Pondering the headaches

Summary: Technology execs are toting iPads and trying to figure out how to deploy them en masse, but there are significant issues to ponder. Here's a look at the moving parts.

SHARE:

Technology execs are toting iPads and trying to figure out how to deploy them en masse, but there are significant issues to ponder.

In various talks Monday Gartner analysts highlighted a series of gotchas that need to be considered before jumping on the enterprise tablet bandwagon. Among the key issues:

Apple iPads and tablets may require a Microsoft license. Even user-owned devices may require a license for things like accessing Microsoft servers and running Office and Outlook. How does Microsoft play a role in iPad licensing costs? There are two licenses to server access---Direct Client Access Licenses and User Client Access Licenses. If you're license is device based iPads will acquire new licenses. User owned iPads may have roaming rights under software assurance or virtual desktop access programs, but there are multiple licensing items to ponder. Securing iPads and tablets may require new skills. Some tips include wiping a device after 10 unsuccessful password tries, making sure enterprise applications are Web and server based and require employee owned devices that access sensitive data be managed by the company. Formatting. The data from a Windows program to an iPad converts well, but the formatting is off. Companies need to review all corporate document and slide deck templates to address fidelity issues between platforms. These templates are critical given that corporate docs and slides are often branding devices in the field.

Companies need to come up with consumption policies and new ways to present information. Data and content will need to be presented to various tablet-toting groups differently. For instance, sales people may want information delivered one way, but the board wants something different. Field support workers will need data delivered in another format on the tablet. To reach those groups, companies will have to become more about multimedia information production.

Hosted virtual desktops don't solve everything. You may think that hosted virtual desktops and bringing legacy apps to a tablet is a good move. However, screen size is an issue and apps designed for the mouse and keyboard are clumsy in a touch interface. Gartner's upshot: Moving iPad users to Citrix or VMware solves security and manageability problems, but introduces other problems.

Apple isn't an enterprise player. Forget about global contracts, nice discounts and group accounts. Individual iTunes accounts can be a tracking disaster at a large company.

Related:

Apple in the enterprise: The road forward

Topics: Hardware, iPad, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

47 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • SECURITY

    Is this another attempt by ZDNet to play-down the issues and concerns surrounding the iPad?<br><br>I am curious as to why security, as one of the most serious concerns, has been overlooked as usual.<br><br>Security on iPad (more accurately, the lack of it, along with the fact that it is new and unproven) deserves a whole entry in this list under the title "SECURITY".
    Tim Acheson
    • As opposed to the undisputed leader among security failures, MS Windows?

      @Tim Acheson
      Don???t make me laugh. :-)
      Mikael_z
      • RE: iPads in the enterprise: Pondering the headaches

        @Mikael_z Let me know when an iPad can support multiple user profiles, 2 factor authentication from wake up, etc etc.

        That's why most iPads don't connect to the corporate LAN but go via guest WiFi in most Enterprise networks I come across.

        Sent from my iPad 2
        dazzlingd
      • I have a link for you to prove that MS gets security

        @Mikael_z
        http://www.microsoft.com/security/default.aspx

        It complements your link proving that Apple gets the enterprise.
        toddybottom
    • RE: iPads in the enterprise: Pondering the headaches

      @Tim Acheson check this tablet i think this will be the best tablet and it can beat the iPad 2 http://www.technologyfazer.com/htc-flyer-tablet-review.html
      nomikhokher
  • Living it

    Having deployed hundreds of iPads (Fortune 100 Co) I will attest the single biggest headache is the need for iTunes both for activation, upgrades and AppStore.

    Thank god iOS 5 removed the iTunes activation / upgrade need (but thanks Apple for the awful iOS 5 upgrade issues) but you still need iTunes if you need to create and manage the iTunes account. They need to move all iTunes management to the web.

    You need to decide how you are going to manage iPads and if you care about App management. There are issues on both sides.

    Side 1 - Like other corporate liable devices you wish to manage the device and software users install on it. Corporate devices have a fully paid iTunes account tied to a corporate credit card. Issues here:

    - Lack of corporate account to attach to each iPad. So you will need a separate iTunes account for each iPad, you could do 5 iPads per account but then you will lose any purchasing optics so IMO the 1-1 ratio has benefits.

    - iTunes account management requires iTunes for the creation and billing detail

    - iTunes needs an email address, do you use your corporate one (iTunes has been hacked multiple times) or manage a secondary email address used for iTunes?

    - Apple has Volume license program now but you cannot track Apps or redeploy Apps if an employee leaves. It's basically a gifting setup and the App is now "owned" by the iTunes account you give it to. So if iTunes account gets a host of paid Apps you will need to keep track of the Apps associated with it and redeploy the whole account if its reused, all Apps in tow.

    Side 2 - Put all iTunes on the employee. They use their own iTunes account and either foot all Apps or you manage a reimbursement of Apps deemed needed for business.

    Issues:

    - Lose all App management
    - Mix of corporate liable hardware and personal usage is sticky. What occurs if a user App makes the rest of the device unusable?

    Another option we explored was via our MDM (most support this control) is turn off AppStore after installing the business sanctioned Apps. This basically cut the appeal for iPad for users who surprisingly feel entitled to use a corporate resource for their own needs. I'd say the split is 75% personal usage / 25 % business related.


    I'm not even going to get into the compliance / security concerns of Apps / cloud storage of business data on the device that you will have to deal with from a DLP perspective. Hopefully you have a MDM in place and you can apply the basic security controls (password, remote wipe etc).

    With over 300 iPads now we've learned some lessons and I applaud Apple for the API's they have released for MDM's to snap into. The tricky part is understanding you will not be able to lock down any iOS device as much as you likely would a corporate laptop as there is a strong personal usage factor people associate with it.

    A good start to supporting iPad would be a BYOD program and force the purchase of the device onto the employee so the demand will be less, then you just need to manage the security aspect.
    MobileAdmin
    • FUD time again?

      @MobileAdmin <br>Its all here for all the iPad fans, including distributing enterprise apps for iOS devises:<br><a href="http://www.apple.com/support/ipad/enterprise/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.apple.com/support/ipad/enterprise/</a><br><br>I think there are a lot of people feeling threatened by the Apple tsunami, like an unstoppable force now making serous inroads to the enterprises. Tremble all IT staffs who are depending on the MS echo system! <img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/happy.gif" alt="happy">
      Mikael_z
      • RE: iPads in the enterprise: Pondering the headaches

        @Mikael_z,<br>You just posted a link to an Apple site for the "enterprise". Have you ever used those applications or followed the whitepapers available there? How they compare to BB Enterprise Server or Microsoft System Center? BTW, have you noticed that part of the documents are based on have Microsoft Exchange w/ ActiveSync. It looks like Apple needed help to make iOS connect to enterprises backend, don't you think?
        dvm
      • RE: iPads in the enterprise: Pondering the headaches

        @Mikael_z

        What does your link have to do with anything I posted? I'm on the damn Apple Enterprise mobile council so yeah I think I know what I'm talking about.

        Apple's issues are not related to connecting to exsisting infrastructure as they have made nice progress to allow this with little work. The issues are related to the AppStore which is consumer / credit card based does not meet the needs of a large scale corporate liable iOS deployment.

        Even Apple Care has some major holes compared to say HP or Dell's enterprise support plans.
        MobileAdmin
      • Thanks for posting that link

        @Mikael_z
        I was honestly going to post it myself as proof that Apple gets the enterprise but you beat me to it.

        Thanks.
        toddybottom
      • Good Job Mikael

        @Mikael_z <br><br>You posted a link to back up your argument... a link to Apple's website talking about how great they are in the enterprise.<br><br>...what? do you <i>work</i> in Apple's marketing department?<br><br>You citing Apple about how great they are is exactly like listening to a anti-virus company telling us how much we need anti-virus... there's a bit of conflict of interest/ motive there...<br><br>And, make no mistake... of <i><b>all</i></b> of the posters I've seen here on ZDNet, MobileAdmin knows his ****. From iOS, to Android, BES to Activesync, devices to apps to security... when he speaks, you would do well for yourself to listen.

        It is obvious from his posts that he knows what he's talking about, and he has the experience of deploying pretty much all that's out there (whether he wanted to or not). And he doesn't offer up fanboy BS, instead real world experiences and advice ...ya know, instead of just posting a link to Apple.com<br><br>He is one of the few posters on ZDNet that actually offers something productive... sometimes moreso than the 'journalists' at this site.<br><br>Maybe one day you'll sober up off of the kool aid.
        UrNotPayingAttention
    • RE: iPads in the enterprise: Pondering the headaches

      @MobileAdmin I really wish Apple does not hear to Admins like you and screw the iPad experience for the rest of us. iPads in enterprise is in-evitable and there would be many SMBs that would come in and fill the void left by Apple.
      browser.
      • RE: iPads in the enterprise: Pondering the headaches

        @browser.

        How are large enterprise controls screwing anyone? If your company doesn't need to leverage them then don't use them? For a large scale iPad deployment you need the proper management if you want to manasge the devices. I don't think anyone wants to entertain a free for all using company credit cards in AppStore/iTunes. I wish we lived in a perfect world and employees did the right thing but time after time its shown employees do the easiest thing, security and compliance be damned.
        MobileAdmin
      • RE: iPads in the enterprise: Pondering the headaches

        @browser.,
        Instead of blaming the administrator, why don't you blame Apple for not having an enterprise management application for iOS devices? MS and Blackberry have their solutions running in business/enterprises worldwide. Why Apple don't have a solution for their product?
        dvm
    • RE: iPads in the enterprise: Pondering the headaches

      @MobileAdmin

      Wow, what a great, informative response from someone who obviously knows what they are talking about... That's the first time I've read anything but hype or haters that instantly reject iAnything, thank you!
      petbutterfly
    • RE: iPads in the enterprise: Pondering the headaches

      @MobileAdmin

      To all - thank you for the kind words. I don't often post for the sake of arguing. I want great debate and discussion of mobility (at the enterprise level). I have read countless articles on why enterprise should do this or that but they never have much real world examples or get in the weeds and tell you how it is.
      MobileAdmin
    • RE: iPads in the enterprise: Pondering the headaches

      @MobileAdmin

      Great post.

      Thanks
      randycpu
    • RE: iPads in the enterprise: Pondering the headaches

      @MobileAdmin
      I appreciate you posting your real-world experience. It's nice to read, as opposed to 99.99% of the other posts on this site that are either "Apple Fan Boys Suck" or "Apple=God".
      winski
  • RE: iPads in the enterprise: Pondering the headaches

    I'm an unashamed Apple Fanboy (well, maybe a bit old for "boy") and through my enthusiasm we've been through the iPhone/iPad process on a very small scale.
    That confessed, I endorse all of the comments of MobileAdmin. Apple have conveniently ignored the corporate issues and making the devices, iTunes and App Store the employee's responsibility is the only workable way right now. Re-imburse employees for direct business-related costs, and pay an allowance or help fund the purchase, but it just doesn't work in volume.
    lifeboat1
    • RE: iPads in the enterprise: Pondering the headaches

      [i]Apple have conveniently ignored the corporate issues and making the devices, iTunes and App Store the employee's responsibility is the only workable way right now. Re-imburse employees for direct business-related costs, and pay an allowance or help fund the purchase, but it just doesn't work in volume.[/i]

      @lifeboat1

      + 1

      MobileAdmin brought up some good critical points without resorting to the bashing fanboys like @toddytroll engages in.

      Apple still has a lot of work to do.
      ScorpioBlue