Pundits are always ready to discuss whether the latest gadget is “ready for the enterprise,” and an article published by InfoWorld shortly after the release of the iPad said that “some analysts say the iPad deserves an “F” for security readiness.”
But another article published by InfoWorld suggests that the conclusions of the first are just a sign of double-standards, hypocrisy, and “Neanderthal IT.” Author Galen Gruman discusses a “flawed premise” that many “analysts” take for granted, “that mobile devices must meet military-grade security needs or, at least, financial-services-grade security needs.” He points out that laptops don’t meet these standards, and says that “the issue is not security but resistance to change — a reluctance to accept new technologies that are user-oriented.”
The points made in this article are valid, and IT managers should first assess the real needs of their companies before rejecting devices. In most cases, the businesses they run don’t have needs that require iron-clad security, or, at a minimum, devices such as the iPad won’t be used with data that needs to be secure. If employees want to use the iPad for surfing the web, browsing PDFs or checking for non-confidential e-mail, there’s no reason to reject it, just as there’s no reason to reject Android phones or netbooks. It all depends on what the employees are planning to do with the devices.