A recent article from electronista notes that "23% of IT managers may already use iPads." First off - I am happy to report that my CIO is among this group.
Why is this stat important?
Although we tend to think of IT people as advanced thinking geeks, a good number of them over the years have become more like Mordac - The Preventer of Information Services from Dilbert. This is the case for very good reasons. I recall a frustrating conversation with the Director of IT at a former firm. He was adamant about stability of the network taking absolute priority over any technology innovations. When pressed on this, he noted that partners didn't call and yell at him for not upgrading the office suite in a more timely fashion Much more frequently he received calls when things didn't work right. What I learned from this experience is that IT was becoming and eventually became a force for status quo over innovation. It's not that geeks don't like cool new IT stuff. They just don't want to support it for a bunch of impatient lawyers.
So I was pleasantly surprised to see IT managers embracing the iPad as a new technology. This suggests a shift in The Force. IT managers are seeing that more and more their customers (lawyers) are calling to ask why they can't have an iPhone. They expect stability, and are now trying to keep pace with technology at their own level. And they are bringing this pain to the IT department.
Even more encouraging in the article was the comment that an additional 18% of IT managers plan to buy an iPad in the next year. I'm not suggesting the iPad is necessarily the next wave of tech for law firms. But these stats do represent a new trend for how IT is approaching technology in the enterprise.
My CIO is truly embracing this new paradigm for IT: "I can say from experience, that I was not particularly interested in the iPad. I had a mild curiosity, but would not lay down the ducats to play with one. However, having spent the better part of two months with one, I would not want to go without. The iPad truly is a transformative technology."