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.”

  • I've been very (pleasently) surprised at how quickly IT has been coming to the realization that the iPad does have practical uses within the firm. Now let's see what happens when all the other tablet models hit the market!

  • It is a fine balance between embracing the new technology and supporting the old. We are bombarded by new much faster than we are able to jettison old. It might surprise the readers here, but many of our users don't really like change no matter how easy it is to adopt. And, because most innovation is happening from the consumer market these days, there is a false perception that support is easier. In the corporate world, it is more difficult to support many of these consumer products. To the point Toby is making, better to get on-board now and help make it right than to wait and pay the price (at least I think that was his point).

    I was an early adopter of the tablet years ago. I could see the promise but nobody had figured out the interface. Apple has figured out a great interface. Game Changed!

  • You mean "ducats." Sorry, residual English-majorism is a curse.

  • Jim… I thought "Ducats" was a high-end Italian motorcycle. 😉

  • Ducati's cost a lot of ducats!

  • Scott was right (as usual) about the point I was making.

    By coincidence – I picked up my July 12th copy of InformationWeek and the "Secret CIO" column echoed my point.

    The columnist makes the point "that supporting Apple's consumer phone is the new corporate test for CIOs, administered by their bosses."