Let’s Stop Making Faster Horses

 The demand for consumer devices to access internal corporate systems is very strong. This is helping to evolve ‘work anywhere’ initiatives in companies, giving employees the freedoms that come with not being tethered to a desk.
An observation that is shared among most IT departments is that despite being able to secure data and applications, creating new content on these devices suck – and they are right.
In response to this feedback Microsoft have created their Surface tablet which gives IT departments the comfort blanket of   using their Windows environments they have invested millions of pounds in, but no one knows what the hell the device is. It’s a laptop and a tablet but it’s crappy laptop and a crappy tablet.
Infographics and reports are coming from IT Managers and MDM/MAM providers declaring that tablets are ‘consuming’ devices that aren’t suitable to create content, and I don’t agree.
We are still trying to shoe horn the desktop way of creating content into tablets, with software that was designed to work with a monitor, mouse and keyboard. Citrix are trying to deliver virtual applications with mobile friendly skins, which delivers a solution which ignores feature sets gained with tablet devices.
When you really think about it a word processor is still a gloryifed typewriter.
 “If I had asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse”
Henry Ford (Apparently)
 I’m convinced word processors and office applications are the ‘faster horses’ of the computing world.
It takes a little imagination to imagine creating content with voice, gestures, location and other offerings that our new devices give us. It may seem strange but if you look at the way we still create content for digital consumption using traditional office suites  a virtual piece of paper on a screen – then it makes sense to find a more modern way of working. All we’ve done is created a typewriter  that allows you to save documents and delete your mistakes.
Business applications on the iPad need to be radically redesigned. We should be finding innovative ways to create content as opposed to awkwardly using ported versions of desktop software. A great example of someone who is doing this is the team at Roambi, a data visualisation tool, by using lots of data sources users are able to manipulate and create visual representations of data rather than the strange Excel document manipulations being offered to users in most business.

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