Earlier this year, New York-based law firm Proskauer completed a massive technology redesign that would make Silicon Valley tech companies gush with envy. At the heart of the redesign was the Apple iPad 2. "I'm pretty sure we were the first, if not only major law firm, to do it," says COO Arthur Gurwitz. "I think it was important to be first with the iPad. I call it brand enhancement."
But behind the "brand enhancement" and despite the elegant simplicity of the iPad, Proskauer's IS department was faced with a great many difficult choices. In other words, iPad enterprise adoption is anything but easy.
[ Discover the best iPad apps for the office. | Does iCloud make iPads unsafe? | Learn how to manage iPads, iPhones, Androids, BlackBerrys, and other smartphones in InfoWorld's 20-page Mobile Management Deep Dive PDF special report. | Keep up on key mobile developments and insights via Twitter and with the Mobile Edge blog and Mobilize newsletter. ]
At law firms, the technology spend ranks as the third-largest line item behind people and office space. Its place on the budget sheet, though, is well justified: Lawyers rely heavily on computers to deliver services that are at the core of a law firm's business. All of this underscores the huge risk Proskauer took to adopt the newfangled iPad as a lawyer's go-to computer.
Today, more than 500 Proskauer lawyers use iPads to create superslick PowerPoint slides, Excel spreadsheets filled with sky-high figures, and verbose Word documents. Lawyers pass this electronic paperwork back and forth among clients. They even present information on their iPads to judges.
Proskauer is part of the latest procession of companies contributing to the rapid rise of the iPad in the enterprise. During its most recent earnings call, Apple claimed three out of four of the Fortune 500 are testing or deploying iPads. Indeed, iPads have been found on the job at some of the most unusual places.