Tablets are more likely to be corporate-owned than are smartphones, even when a company
is willing to support employee-owned tablets. Data from a recent survey of 556 companies in 45 countries by
Aberdeen Group found that overall, 43% of the sample were willing to support any personally owned tablet; 29%
allowed selected tablets, but over one quarter -- 28% -- banned all personal tablets. By contrast, 51% allowed any
personally owned smartphone to be used for business; 32% allowed selected phones (from a corporate-approved list);
and only 17% banned all personal smartphones for business use.
Companies aren't abandoning "bring your own device" (BYOD) policies for tablets, but "tablet adoption won't be
like smartphone adoption," says Aberdeen's Andrew Borg, research director, enterprise mobility and communications.
Big companies especially are more likely to impose policy-based limits and constraints to ensure compliance with
corporate security and management requirements, he
"When you move into network and file access in [tablet] apps, you need to worry about much more than you do for
email access," says Rich Adduci, CIO at Boston Scientific in Boston. "You're accessing proprietary information, so
greater control is a necessity. It's hard to get that [control] in a BYOD environment."
For Boston Scientific, control comes from an early decision to create a management infrastructure as part of the
iPad deployment. The company chose SAP's Sybase Afaria for provisioning mobile devices, and the Sybase Unwired
Platform for device management. "We knew we would have a large deployment," Adduci says. "We knew we couldn't do
that if we didn't have device provisioning and control in place." At the same time, he's realistic about the
current state of the art for device management. "As with any new technology, there will be things missing from it,
compared to the much more mature device management capabilities of the desktop.
All four companies are in very different places with regard to managing tablets. The Ottawa Hospital pushed hard
to deploy iPads quickly, in order to support a critical computerized physician order-entry project (replacing plans
for laptops). Management wasn't a top priority initially, though the hospital eventually adopted MobileIron's mobile device management software. But much tablet administration is
still largely manual: when the annual influx of nearly 1,000 residents showed up at the hospital recently, their
iPad registration, configuration, and set up required a "small army" of IT staff to do it, Potter says.