Agencies make the iPad telework connection

Monday - 8/9/2010, 11:39am EDT

The snapping sound of cords cutting are being heard across the globe. The BBC, for example, this month announced it is testing the iPad to see if it's up to the task of replacing desktop computers.

Which is all well and good, you say, for the private sector. But what about the federal government? Could the tablet computer meet government needs when it comes to checking e-mail, sharing documents and accessing the Web?

Federal Computer Week reports the answer is being looked at very seriously across the federal government.

"A couple of agencies already list the iPad as an option on purchasing contracts," while NIST is looking at "how they can best be supported and secured," according to FCW.

While NASA "sees its potential value as an on-the-go platform," there are a few drawbacks noted, including "normal office products that are the core of normal computer use - i.e. Microsoft Office - are not available" for the iPad.

If you should decide there's enough room in your end-of-fiscal-year budget to take a few for a spin, "some vendors offer iPads on vehicles such as NASA's Solutions for Enterprisewide Procurement governmentwide acquisition contract," notes FCW.

SEWP program manager, Joanne Woytek tells Federal News Radio, don't wait to get your orders in. Just because they're open until midnight on September 30th doesn't mean you shouldn't get your order in as early as possible.