How to Use New Technology in Your Company – Is the iPad Really Worth It?

More than a toy the iPad is a true technological marvel. Let me first put you into context. You have to know that this comment is coming from a man of a certain age, for whom his very first computer was an Apple Macintosh 512k, with an external 800k floppy drive. I bought it during my last year in university, just before graduating (I won’t tell you what I paid for it). So I have always been a big fan of Apple products.

So how does all these technological gadget fit in with what we do?

I love the iPad. Don’t get me wrong. But is giving one to your staff a good business decision?

Let me share a story. Early in my career, I remember our executive assistant having a real hard time moving from the electric typewriter to a PC and word processing. The boss bought this new technology, new printer, and just put it on her desk. There was some training. I emphasize the word “some”. It was mostly a “figure it out” situation. What do you think happened? Weeks and months of battles on how to use the “darn thing” – thank goodness for the typewriter backup right beside her desk… – and arguing with the boss. So we convince the boss to invest into more training. That worked… somewhat. After a few months, while she ran to the bathroom in tears, a colleague and I approached the boss and said: “do you trust us to fix your problem within 24 hours? ” He allowed us to bring in Apple products, we fixed the software, and the rest is history.

I should have negotiated a raise first.

So today we have these wonderful iPads. I see them around me and a lot of people don’t seem to know how to use them. Sure, there’s Doodle Jump, Solitaire, taking pictures and besides that, what? Perhaps a few apps. Probably lots of music and videos. If that is the case in your surroundings, then it makes it for a very expensive “deck of cards” substitute.

Success in implementing new technology has really not changed from when I was a young lad:

  1. Make a needs assessment. Do you know what you really need? If you don’t know, it’s like jumping in to the car with no sense of where you are going. Of course, giving iPads to your friends, families and employees just to make them happy can be an acceptable reason.
  2. Buy the right technology. Having a good deal on a used iPad, could be a rational decision but really, how about buying the latest iPad technology? By the way, I think the iPad is the best tablet out there. I built a compare chart and tested most if not all of them (available in my market anyway) and the iPad did truly come out on top.
  3. Train, train, train. If your staff don’t know how to use your iPad, will they use it appropriately? Some people figure it out on their own but really, is that wise? Think about how much your iPad costs! Worth every penny, but still a fair bit of change.

With today’s technology, I always search online for learning tools. Especially when I am not so interested in sitting in classrooms anymore and be bored to death with non-interactive training. Why go for online options? Usually it is:

  • Fast.
  • You still learn everything.
  • It’s often cheaper and cheap.
  • It’s easy.
  • It’s convenient.
  • You learn at your own pace.

And I was one of those guilty ones that had limited knowledge of its potential. Using the iPad as our example in this article, you would probably find something relevant by using Google and some relevant keywords such as iPad lesson plan, or something to that effect. In any case, I found that online learning is works for me as it does to thousands of people. Especially when videos are used as a support medium. Still with the iPad example, I found videos to learn how to use the iPad. Hours of videos and all the tricks in the world. It is a good example of what is available for online training. Another example for which I use video support is for my business accounting software.

When you do find them, the videos are convenient: you can watch them anytime. Early morning, mid-afternoon or late evening. Or evening middle of the night. They are waiting for you at the moment that you are ready. All you need is an internet connection which you already have. So what is stopping you from learning everything you want to know about your iPad?

Whatever your training needs are, training online is the better option. In my opinion.