November 16, 2010 By Matt Williams
Show up at a conference or event where government CIOs tend to congregate, and you’ll quickly notice more and more of them are carrying sleeve-like carrying cases under their arms. It’s the mark of an iPad adopter.
Their enthusiasm for Apple’s hottest device is hard to miss. Surely one reason they like the tablet is because it’s an easy-to-use platform for gadget apps. But more than that, the CIOs say that the iPad is making them more productive and efficient, and also has potential to change how technology is delivered to government employees and the citizens they serve.
One member of the iPad-carrying class is Doug Holt, deputy executive director of the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR). He’s one of a small number of employees in the agency who are piloting the iPad. They’re working together to figure out how the device can best be used.
What stands out first are the productivity gains, Holt said. He can quickly retrieve e-mail and his calendar on-the-go, and it integrates well with Microsoft products, he said. In addition, he has a couple of Web browsers installed, so he can quickly browse the websites he uses for everyday work functions. One of them is the DIR’s main website. “I also use a lot of Salesforce.com to manage a lot of different parts of our business. I don’t use the app as much because of the configuration it takes, so I just go to the website.”
Holt said he also uses a couple note-taking applications. One of them, WritePad, uses handwriting recognition to type out in real time what he writes by hand on the bottom of the tablet. “This is a really high-value item for me,” Holt said.
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