He observed, "The seemingly insatiable appetite for corporate adoption of tablets -- and the iPad as a proxy for that broader adoption -- reflects a fundamental shift from IT driving the how, when, what, and where of technology use toward the user dictating those parameters. It's fascinating that this is being driven both from the bottom up and the top down. In this case, people fresh out of school and CEOs alike have embraced an unobtrusive device that supports many if not all of their personal and professional computing needs."
According to Robert Stephens, founder of the Geek Squad and CTO at electronics retailer Best Buy, the iPad is facilitating an even more fundamental shift within the enterprise: user-driven design, which is driving improvements in business processes. "Up until recently," Stephens says, "most business executives didn't have any confidence to know what to ask IT for. But now they see that they can track a FedEx package right from the iPad, and see where it is or who signed for it. You can customize and order a pizza from Papa John's right from your iPhone. IT no longer has the unique set of knowledge about what is possible. The user now knows what they want, and they can and will demand it from IT."
Although the debate around the impact of consumerization will no doubt continue for some time, the adoption of mobile technologies and enterprise applications is moving forward, whether or not IT departments are on board.
Based on the opinions of those I spoke with, it is the role of IT to evaluate the opportunities that come with consumer technologies, weigh the risks and benefits, and define a strategic plan for the future. For those CIOs and IT managers new to the conversation, the good news is that it's a topic that everyone seems to be talking about.
This story, "How the iPad will change IT forever," was originally published at InfoWorld.com and is excerpted with permission from "iPad in the Enterprise: Developing and Deploying Business Applications" (copyrighted 2011 by Wiley Publishing). Follow the latest developments in IT management and mobile technology at InfoWorld.com. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.