April 2 2014

Replace your PC with an iPad

Posted on the 07:03 am under Cloud Computing,Mobility,Productivity by Darren Boyer

Microsoft announcing last week the availability of Office on an iPad is an exciting development for anyone who has gotten used to working with a tablet.  This announcement makes working from an iPad easy for the press and general public to recognize and helps generate good publicity. 

What the headlines don’t declare is that it has been possible to replace your PC with an iPad for several months now.  All of the desktop programs (or almost all) can be published on a private cloud and accessible for staff to use from an iPad, Android or Windows tablet.  The applications work in the same way as you would on a desktop except now touch functions are now possible.

There are plenty of scenarios where this can be advantageous.  Some of our customers are working on drawing applications in the field from a tablet.  This is much more convenient than having a laptop on a construction site.  Other customers are taking their tablet into the courtroom and are now able to access all of their files electronically.  They can even account for the time and billing on PC Law or Esilaw on the PC based application back at the office right from the tablet device.    Other clients are replacing the VPN connections between offices and making a much more mobile enabled environment.  Now staff can access applications from home or with clients just the same as if they were at the field office.

We think this is a very exciting time to be in Information Technology as new ways of doing things that are faster and more flexible are being implemented on frequent basis.  Replacing your PC with an iPad is now possible.  You may lose dual screens, larger screens and some familiarity with how things work by moving to an iOS environment but for the right person the trade off can be worth it.

Written by Darren Boyer

Darren Boyer

Darren Boyer is the founder and president of pcit.

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  • Austin Williamson said, on April 2nd, 2014 at 08:17.

    Oh, and another thing about the iPad Office: the viewer is free, but editing requires an Office 365 subscription.

    Students can download the Office Mobile suite free of charge.

    Microsoft also released a free version of OneNote that – surprise surprise – uses the Microsoft cloud (OneDrive) to store the notes. OneNote is now available on almost everything – sorry Blackberry and Linux users.

    So, good news for consumers, bad news for business. Instead of keeping everything in-pocket, businesses will have to send both their data and money to Redmond… The privacy-minded will also want to shy away from Microsoft’s bait.

  • Jason Thompson said, on April 2nd, 2014 at 17:46.

    Great read Darren. Sparta Engineering has been pushing towards cloud based engineering for a while now and we are excited about how close we are to being able to work off an ipad. I know the article is about the Microsoft package does that mean you are recommending that platform over the Google?

    • Darren Boyer said, on April 7th, 2014 at 12:04.

      Thanks – Sorry for the late reply. Took the family to a wedding in Kelowna this weekend past and wasn’t able to reply.

      One of the key criteria in evaluating cloud solutions to me is how much risk is the cloud vendor expecting you to carry. I believe with Google this risk is huge. First off there whole support model is always geared towards eliminating human interaction so the business can scale very quickly. Search, google+ etc are all built on automated support. The amount of risk this poses to an organization with ongoing revenue is huge. What if there is a code error on Google’s side and no one will pick up the phone?

      Microsoft was originally basing their cloud deliver model on automated support methods and has evolved over the last 30 months to a much more personal – accessible model.

      Not having worked with AWS much it seems they are more likely to get the support side right as Amazon has so much more support based resources and skillsets to draw from in their retail business.

      The second risk is the business value of the customer. Features and price advantage are great but if the organization hasn’t priced in enough of a support model to ensure enough safeguards are in place a small organization is at a high risk to becoming an unfortunate statistic if the worst happens and their cloud delivery service breaks. Like collateral damage their business model will lean towards losing a part of their customer base and increase the marketing spend in the event of a crisis. For anyone other than a start up this could cost the customer far more than the cloud supplier.

      For this reason it is good to choose partners who really have something to lose if they experience a degredation in service. Hope these principles are helpful.