Are iPads jeopardizing your IT Budget?

imageI continue to be amazed by the reaction I get when I tell the Windows tablet story directly to my customers or when I do large audience presentations at user groups or conventions.  On one hand, I’m extremely grateful to the positive reaction I receive… on the other, I’m shocked that more people don’t know or understand the story.

The Windows and Devices story is very simple.  Without a doubt, end-users are demanding for increased mobility solutions so they can do their work in the office or away from the office.  With a Windows Tablet, you are getting an integrated experience on a beautiful, fast, and light-weight device that can meet these demands.  At the same time, you are getting a device that the information technology department can support at a lower total cost of ownership.  This is a Win-Win proposition for you and for your company, school, government agency, church, not-for-profit organization, etc.

Let’s dig into this a little more in 3 parts:

  • Devices and Experiences End-Users will love
  • Enterprise Grade Security and Management
  • Lower Cost Tablet Solution

Devices and Experiences End-Users will love


When you buy a Windows Tablet, you aren’t just buying a tablet device.  You are buying into the most advanced, rich ecosystem made available.  From a consumer perspective, Windows pulls in rich assets that you have come to know and love, such as:, SkyDrive, People, Skype, XBOX Music, Bing, Bing Maps, Internet Explorer, Office, Store, XBOX Video, Games, SmartGlass, Photos, and so much more.  You can also use 3rd party applications that you may be familiar with as well:  Firefox, Chrome, iTunes, Adobe’s Photoshop or their Creative Cloud, TurboTax, and many more (there are literally millions of apps available for your Windows 8 device*).

You don’t have to compromise with a Windows device.  Windows brings the best touch-optimized experience to your fingertips and allows you to continue to leverage the keyboard and mouse for your traditional desktop applications.  Additionally, you get the things that matter to you – USB ports, Video Ports, and storage extension capabilities (i.e. microSD cards).  You get wireless networking, wireless printing, wireless display (miracast), multi-monitor support and so much more.

You truly get the best of both worlds in a single device.

Enterprise Grade Security and Management


Many organizations are facing the dilemma and the complexity with this new world of work as a result of device proliferation.  When you buy a Windows Tablet, you are buying a device that your IT organization can more readily support.  For years, IT has invested in the core components to support the security and manageability of Windows devices.

Windows Tablets (running Windows 8 / 8.1) are more secure than any preceding Windows device.  Designed with secure boot and trusted boot, Windows provides the first layer of defense to help prevent rootkits and bootkits from loading during the startup process.

Windows has had Full Drive Encryption since Windows Vista, but with the availability of Windows 8.1, Full Drive Encryption is made available and turned on for all Windows devices… giving IT the confidence that intellectual property remains protected in the event of a lost or stolen device.

Microsoft also has a first-class anti-malware solution with Windows Defender (for consumer or unmanaged scenarios) and System Center EndPoint Protection (for managed or large enterprises).  There has been so much work put into the Windows 8.1 security capabilities – including multi-factor authentication, virtual smartcards, biometrics, and remote business data removal.

You can read more about the security improvements with Windows 8.1 from Microsoft TechNet.


As it relates to management, organizations have already invested in an existing ESD (Enterprise Software Distribution) solution to manage their systems.  These existing investments are positioned to manage Windows based tablets**.  With System Center Configuration Manager 2012, there have been additional investments that have been made to support consumerization of IT and the new user-centric work model.

Microsoft’s Windows Intune solution (which is a cloud based management solution) provides your organization with a robust mobile device management solution that gives your IT organization a unified experience (combined with System Center 2012 SP1)  to manage all of your IT assets – desktops, laptops, tablets, mobile devices (Windows Phone, iOS, Android), servers, applications, company/software portals, etc.

If your organization already has a 3rd party MDM solution, Windows 8.1 has been equipped to use the Open Mobile Alliance Device Management protocols without an additional agent.  Starting with Windows 8.1 General Availability, you will be able to use Windows Intune OR AirWatch OR Mobile Iron as your MDM solution.

In a recent discussion with a CIO of a large enterprise organization, the CIO referenced how costly MDM is for his IT budget and he’s trying to find ways to reduce the overall costs to support BYOD.  The situation with most 3rd party MDM solutions is that it is device based.  So, if you have an employee with an iPhone, an iPad, and an Android device, that is 3 separate licenses you have to purchase. 

($$ per device X N devices X # of employees adds up real quick)

Windows Intune is per user.  With a Windows Intune license, Microsoft gives the employee the ability to use 5 devices with that single license.

Microsoft’s licensing has gotten so much better over the years as the company transitions to a devices and services company.  Office 365 is a per user license that also allows you to use Office on 5 devices.

Lower Cost Tablet Solution

Earlier in the year I shared two publications that may be of interest to you:

But, I want to take it a step further and simplify the discussion.  One of my colleagues was working with her enterprise customer on a tablet proof-of-concept.  By working with this customer, there was a very compelling slide that they jointly put together for their analysis.  I, in turn, shared this with one of my enterprise customers and they validated the same findings.

Here was the simple slide*** that was put together.


The story is simple.  With an iPad (or Android device), you have to think about all of the “extras” that generally get lost in the discussion.  If you want to print, it’s going to cost you $.  If you want document sharing, it’s going to cost you $$.  If you want to manage the device, it’s going to cost you $$$.  In the end, it just simply costs you more.  [Note – since the creation of the slide, Apple has made iWorks Free]

With a Windows device****, the investments you have already made can be leveraged.  You have a rich productivity solution in Microsoft Office, you can manage the device with your existing enterprise software distribution tools (such as Configuration Manager 2012), you are able to print, and you are able to balance fun (consuming services such as email, browsing the web, watching videos or listening to music) with work (Office productivity apps, existing LOB app investments like SAP, Oracle Financials, CRM, etc.).

The numbers speak for themselves.  In this quick analysis, the iPad device is a costly extension of your current computer or laptop.  With a Windows tablet device, you are buying into a rich ecosystem that is the lower cost option to support and manage.


In summary, an iPad (or Android device) puts great strain on your IT budget and resources to manage this complex environment (from add-ons like the ability to print or 3rd party MDM licensing). 

Bring Your Own Device is still a hot topic during my conversations with my customers.  But, I find that many in the IT field that are having to support BYOD really refer to it as “Bring Your Own Disaster.”

With Windows and Windows-based Tablets, you can simplify your workload and bring relief to your IT budget with a simplified, unified user and IT experience. 

On October 18, 2014, Windows 8.1 will also bring many enterprise-grade features that will help turn BYOD from a disaster, to a real opportunity.  Check out the Springboard series blog on What’s New For The Enterprise in  Windows 8.1.

*with a Windows 8 / 8.1 Professional Device.  A Windows RT device does NOT run your traditional applications with the exception of the Microsoft Office Home & Student Edition.  With Windows RT, you can run any of the modern applications made available through the Windows Store.

**depending on your current version of ESD and support model, there may be an upgrade requirement to support Windows 8 or Windows 8.1.

***Pricing are examples and may not be actual prices reflected in your actual costs analysis.

****Surface Pro was used as an example for this comparison.  Any modern Windows Tablet can be used… including the great Windows Tablets from the OEM ecosystem such as:  Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2, Dell Latitude 10, HP ElitePad 900, Lenovo Helix, as well as tablets from Samsung, ASUS, and Acer.  Pick the tablet that will work for your business scenario and do the comparison yourself.

4 thoughts on “Are iPads jeopardizing your IT Budget?

Add yours

  1. My daughter was talking about Chromebooks at her school, she said Dad, “I hate them.” They take a lot of time to work with and I have to always be online, it is slow. She said her one friend had them at her school and a bunch of kids failed a test given on the Chromebooks because they could not connect reliably. It is these hidden things that make “new”, “free” or “low cost” seem like an option that end up hurting everyone in the end.

    1. Thanks for the comment Bruce. I think people just get mesmerized easily these days (plus, I think Microsoft needs to do a better job at telling the story). I think the newer commercials are a lot better.

      I’m looking forward to mid-October. I know the OEMs are going to come out with some great devices based on the new chipsets (Haswell and Bay Trail). I got to touch the new 8″ from Dell… it is absolutely stunning… plus, it comes with Microsoft Office.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. Really appreciate it.

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