Thursday, December 13, 2012

How the Grinch Stole Your Tablet

Santa heard you last year. You want a tablet. Let me be your Grinch for a few paragraphs.

                I’m not going to sit here and tell you that tablets aren't great. A year ago, I left my iPad at a friend’s house overnight. Feeling completely out of sorts, I had to turn to the methadone of Windows Solitaire.  I use my iPad every day, possibly every hour. What I do with it is the most trivial of human activities: Checking what my friends are doing, browsing amazon for stuff I don’t need, and yes… especially solitaire.  Not to say I don’t get work email on it, I do. But I reply using a computer like a grownup.

                It’s not that tablets are doomed to such unimportant applications. In fact, more and more workplaces are adding tablets into their business process. A client of ours is introducing MS’s new Surface to take patients signatures on legal forms. Others use them as an interface for retail customers, reducing the sporadic long lines that drove new business away.  You aren't going to do any of these things with yours, but you could, and that is comfort enough.

                The real reason I am being a Grinch today, is because regardless how you will use your tablet, you will certainly bring it to work. Assuming that you are a client, now we have some skin in the game. Small business networks still default to an IP range accepting 254 network devices. That would still be more than enough if the following devices hadn't started using some of those addresses: Office phones, cell phones, air conditioners, coffee makers (seriously), and tablets. That isn't to mention their computers, laptops, servers, and networking equipment. We have a client with 55 employees that is fresh out of IP addresses. The solution is simple, leave your tablets at home….. No not really.

                While nothing I've said so far is untrue, my conclusion is ridiculous. To limit the use of newer devices because of the short term engineering problems they pose or doubts about their productivity would be completely wrongheaded.  It is impossible to tell what innovations are going to be useful.  Having employees bring their own devices into work presents some experimental opportunities at low-to-no cost of the business. Every person who has ever worked for OCC started in this field because of how amazed they were with the power of these very innovations. It is power that manifests after a heck of a lot of playing around. …….. and his screen grew three sizes bigger that day.

Ted Hughes
Managing Director
OCC Service Incorpoarted