Deloitte: iPad to transform federal workplace

Wednesday - 2/2/2011, 2:05pm EST

Eric Openshaw, vice chairman and U.S. technology leader, Deloitte

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Can iPads boost efficiency at your agency? The Interior Department is testing out that theory by purchasing tablets as part of a new pilot program.

Consulting firm Deloitte says that in 2011 the tablet will be more than just a toy but a tool for work.

The iPad is thin and "non-invasive," said Eric Openshaw, vice chairman and U.S. technology leader at Deloitte.

"It's easily brought into meetings. It's laid out on a table. It's not an open laptop with an open screen that communicates to everyone else in the room that you're interesting but what's on my screen is more important," Openshaw said in an interview with the DorobekINSIDER.

However, iPad use in an agency requires investments beyond the tablets themselves, which retail at $499 a piece.

"It's expensive every time you bring on a new device with new operating system and a new set of protocols," Openshaw said. "It typically means more people with more rules and more exposure."

In few instances have the iPad replaced a laptop, Openshaw said. The iPad does not have the storage capacity that computers do, he said. However, at agencies where email and document storage have moved to the cloud, the iPad offers an opportunity to replace computers, Openshaw said.

Cloud access will introduce different ways of collaborating between workers both inside and outside the organization, and new ways of using social media, Openshaw said. He added that cloud computing will allow employers "to more effectively interact with employees and create brand new ways of accomplishing and solving problems."

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