Is Apple’s iPad ready for the enterprise?

Apple’s wildly successful iPad has been embraced by consumers all over the world. But is the sleek and sexy tablet ready to take on corporate America?

Well, Gartner VP Stephen Prentice believes the iPad, along with its extensive ecosystem, is likely to “disrupt” existing technology use profiles and business paradigms.

“CEOs should ensure that [the iPad’s] potential is being seriously evaluated inside their organizations,” said Prentice.

“[Of course], it is not usually the role of the CEO to get directly involved in specific technology device decisions, but Apple’s iPad is an exception.”

Indeed, according to Prentice, the powerful ARM-based tablet represents more than just the latest consumer gadget.

“Individuals are willing to buy these devices themselves, so enterprises must be ready to support them. [Yes], some IT departments will say they are a ‘Windows shop’ and Apple does not support the enterprise.

“[Still], organizations need to recognize that there are soft benefits in a device of this type in the quest to improve recruitment and retention. [Remember], technology is not always about productivity.”

Prentice added that the iPad is likely to remain “well ahead of the pack,” despite a slew of tablet announcements from potential competitors such as RIM, Samsung, HP and Dell.

“While there are [obviously] no certainties, the iPad looks set to become a market-disrupting device, like the iPod before it. 

“[So], even if you think it is just a passing fad, the cost of early action is low, while the price of delay may well be extremely high.”