HRG group distribution and technology director Bill Brindle this month commented on the challenges and opportunities for tablets in corporate travel, particularly as they become more enterprise-friendly. [more]
"The fact that more consumer-based devices are finding their way into the workplace poses an opportunity and a threat," Brindle wrote in an email exchange. "We are delivering our mobile app
and [there is a] debate on how long apps will last in corporate space, versus mobile sites. Our data is dynamic and the screen real estate on a tablet device enables more mobile site and hybrid apps in the corporate arena.
"Growth in the enterprise will come as more devices like the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook, HP's new devices, Android and Windows take off," Brindle wrote of competitors to Apple's iPad. "In a BlackBerry world, the enterprise is in control of the enterprise server. In effect, we can control what the device is capable of doing by enabling and disabling functions. That may sound draconian, but in certain areas of business it's a must when dealing with sensitive information. That doesn't mean only BlackBerry will do this, but smartphones and pads are just as capable as a PC for data storage and applications now, and policies and procedures over use need to be made."
That's easier said than done, Brindle acknowledged. "The fact is that this is such a fast moving market now, device controls will change by the day, and I haven't fully investigated the extent of the other devices yet. The issue for me as a CIO is getting the balance between integration with my existing structures, data security, governance and access to the wider world in a cost efficient manageable environment. To use the facilities of a pad, I don't want to install iTunes and its equivalents on the desktops.
"As more 'enterprise-ready' devices hit the market, mobility (replacing the need for lugging a laptop around) in the enterprise will grow and people may not need to take their personal devices with them to conduct certain work tasks, and the enterprise can deliver a broader solution. On the flip side, the task of delivering travel technology services to these devices becomes more important."~ With reporting by Amon Cohen