The Model T Ford and the ubiquitous PC
Henry Ford did not invent the automobile; but he did innovate to make it affordable to the middle class. “Fordism” was his greatest triumph – mass production of inexpensive goods coupled with high wages for workers. For Ford, the Model T was the car for “every person”, for enterprise IT, the PC or its cousin the laptop has long been the vehicle of choice. Perhaps the time for the IT’s Model A has come.
Only in black
One of Henry Ford's famous quotes about the Model T was, "Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants, so long as it is black." For Ford, the choice of black color was all about reducing his risk because quick-drying paint was available only in black.
The CIO’s equivalent of quick-drying black paint is security - users can have any device they want, as long as it is secure.
Security is a key component for success in an enterprise; embracing that, the current market trend is to build security into every layer of communication of the device. For example, Android is considered weak in this area; Samsung, recognizing this now provides a security-enhanced OS called KNOX, based on a container solution that separates business data from personal applications. Thus allowing them to provide necessary security to their business customers.
Is Enterprise Tablet a red herring?
A tablet is not a phone, though you can use it to make phone calls. It is not a PC, though you can do just about anything that you can with a PC. It is clearly a hybrid. I believe that a conversation about tablets supplanting PCs or cellphones is moot. A tablet is a new type of communication vehicle that fills the virtual gap between a phone and a PC. And unlike the PC, it is a device chosen and customized by the user. Android, Apple or Windows; Samsung, Google or Microsoft, everyone has an opinion and a “perfect fit”.
Where does the tablet fit? Is it our Model A?
After the phenomenal success of Model T, which was produced for 18 years, Ford came with its next success, Model A. The Model A was a big hit and essentially replaced the Model T, and it was available in four different colours. Can enterprise tablets become the IT equivalent of Model A the ‘every person’ technology that also allows individuals to select the one best for them? This blog by Vertic, a strategic digital agency, suggests that this is indeed the Year of the Enterprise Tablet.
Tablets may not yet be in the new PC in the enterprise. Yet, they are creating a new category that is quickly outpacing and challenging both the role of PCs and the field of mobile computing. The ideal combination of satisfied user needs, supported by an IT department that is comfortable with the associated risk, operational and cost factors make tablet a potential game-changer for an enterprise.
Black goes with every colour
People are conscious of what their appearance says about them. Once that was true only of clothing, today that extends to the devices they carry. It is therefore no wonder Apple hired Angela Ahrendts, CEO at Burberry, an iconic British Luxury Brand to help them continue to grow and build their brand. Car manufacturers sell lifestyle with ‘their overall strategy to expand the brand and highlight the “emotional” component of owning one of their vehicles’. Enterprise tablets, the new hybrid, are no different—you can have it in any color and size you desire. Enterprise tablets give CIOs a perfect option to please the image conscious, “emotional” users of today. As long as the base coat is black (strong security), the colour can be anything you like.