Stop the Noiz

iPads Improve Employee Morale

Frank Fox - 2010.09.14 - Tip Jar

This article was inspired by MicroStrategy, a business intelligence software maker, switching its employees to iPads. I think the real message is that an iPad is an inexpensive way to improve employee morale, and it might just save your company money.

Employees like to get laptops. I've seen it at work and heard it from my wife and friends.

For businesses, a laptop is often seen as a luxury item. The pecking order is usually management and sales get laptops while the worker bees have desktop computers. Why? Because these hardworking managers and salespeople take their work home with them or are on the road.

This creates a cachet that those with laptops are more important. A simple reality check: Don't management level employees have computers of their own at home that they could do work on?

I know that my own limit is not lack of a computer - or even a laptop - to use, but not having the software I need installed at home. If having a work laptop means I am expected to do work at home, they can keep the laptop.

Others disagree and swoon over getting a laptop for work.

Since having a Windows laptop is of no importance to me (and probably many others), what could replace it as a productivity tool and employee morale boost?

I propose that the iPad is perfect for that roll. As an added bonus, the iPad is capable of lowering the cost of technical support for a company.

It is easy to see why computer technical support is a constant expense for companies. A company's computer support group lives in terror of some dumb manager downloading and installing a free screen saver from the Internet.

The first level of problem is the weird conflict it may have on that person's computer, which might requires several hours of troubleshooting to resolve. And the worst case is if the free download happens to have a virus payload that then infects the company network. The cost to disinfect would to huge.

How does that compare to the closed system of the Apple App Store? Again, that same dumb manage might install software from the Internet, but this time the app has been tested and approved by Apple. The configuration of the hardware and software is limited, so if a conflict occurs, a reset is just a few minutes of work. Optimally, the manager could sync and fix the problem without calling support.

Clearly, service costs are going to be lower for an iPad than for a Windows laptop.

Now the company can afford to trickle down the savings by giving low level managers iPads, or even giving out iPads based on merit. Employees will feel better for being recognized, and the company will save money to boot. LEM

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