Financial services firms proved to be the biggest users of Apple's iPad tablet computer, followed by high-tech and health care sectors, according to a new study by mobile management software provider Good Technology.
Good, which just upgraded its Good for Enterprise iPad app, surveyed its user base of more than 4,000 enterprise customers, whose iPad deployments range from one to over 1,000 iPads per shop.
That's a shocking number of tablets for business use, considering the iPad launched in April. It took more than a year for iPhones to become prevalent in the enterprise; the iPad is already a useful business tool.
Good found that financial services firms accounted for 36 percent of iPad deployments. Surprisingly, this bested the high-tech sector, which accounted for 11.4 percent of deployments.
Good's health care customers made up 10.5 percent of the company's iPad numbers. The legal and government sectors rounded out Good's top 5 with 8.8 percent and 8.3 percent of iPad deployments, respectively.
John Herrema, senior vice president of corporate strategy at Good, said these sectors are leading consumers of the iPad because its form factor "makes it very appealing for their job tasks."
The iPad's portability and crisp, 9.7-inch touch screen is a big hook among consumers and business users who want to check e-mail, and access CRM applications or spreadsheets from the road.
The device is also a pleasure on which to surf the Web or access any of the 25,000-plus applications tailored for the iPad in Apple's App Store.
In addition, software makers such as Fuze Box have created Web conferencing applications that let corporate road warriors conduct virtual face-to-face meetings.
Good improved its own Good for Enterprise App in the App Store by adding real-time push synchronization of Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Domino e-mail, calendar and contacts.
Good also aims to give IT administrators peace of mind by guaranteeing them separation of corporate and personal data, the ability to wipe corporate data from afar, and data encryption. This will prove valuable for enterprises that decide to embrace the iPad.
Good made its name by enabling secure messaging over RIM BlackBerry and Windows Mobile smartphones and, later, iPhone and Android handsets.
Soon the company will have to accommodate IT admins dealing with the flood of new Android tablets, including the Samsung Galaxy Tab, as well as forthcoming tablets from Dell, Lenovo and others, into the market.
Fuze Box will be waiting with its newly launched Fuze Meeting for Android app.