“You Can’t Do Real Work On An iPad”

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this nor will it probably be the last. But I was surprised because it came from a man around my age who works as an IT manager for a large company. He began by explaining how frustrating his company’s new BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) initiative has been for his department.

He mentioned that a number of executives were looking to replace their bulky laptops with iPads after watching a number of employees bring them to meetings. Some employees were even leaving their laptops back in the office and going on the road with only an iPad.

But nobody’s doing work on them.

I’d normally jump with example after detailed example of how I use my iPad. But I’ve had those conversations and they’re a waste of time. There’s nothing I can say to change his mind. Of course, he didn’t actually own an iPad, but he was sure it was only good for Angry Birds, reading and web surfing. I chimed in with Netflix just to show I was listening.

This argument that one can’t complete real work on a tablet has run its course.  It also reminds me when I purchased my first PC that ran DOS. At least 90% of software stores were filled with PC games which gave the impression that was all they were good for. Friends without PC told me I’d bought a $2000 game machine.

My iPad didn’t replace my laptop because I never owned a laptop. It hasn’t replaces my Windows desktop either. I didn’t write this post on my iPad to prove a point although I could have. The point is that IT managers would do well to embrace tablets and all mobile devices instead of denigrate them.  I suspect those executives who want iPads spend much of their day reading emails and occasionally writing a short reply. Maybe they need to research a competitor or prepare for an interview. I doubt they editing HD video, rendering 3D objects or pushing Photoshop to its limits.

Use the device that works best for you. Just don’t try to tell me what I can’t do with my iPad.