At home I’ve got a laptop and an iPad and Steve Player’s most recent blog got me thinking about how I used them.
When I need to do some writing or analyse some data I still automatically reach for the laptop as its full QWERTY keyboard makes it so much more productive. But if I’m just consuming data, authorising things or making decisions, the iPad wins every time and I find I carry it with me everywhere. For those situations, it’s the iPad that is so much more productive. It’s on all the time so there is no booting up; it automatically hooks up to the neighbourhood Wi-Fi networks and you can hold it with one hand and operate it with the other – trying doing that with a current laptop in a coffee queue! For the moment it seems to have everything you need to make the most of those snatched 5 minutes between meetings and calls – but no doubt Apple will show me otherwise with a future release. For me it is this ready-whenever ease of access that tablets bring that has accelerated the demand for mobility in business. If there is stuff I can deal with in five-minute bites, give it to me on a tablet and I’ll deal with it right now.
As Steve points out mobile devices such as iPads and tablets can bring benefits to planning and budgeting by making the process more effective and more efficient. By allowing remote contributors such as sales and field based folk to update their forecasts based on the very latest events, (such as an unanticipated change in the size of a customer’s order), forecasts can be more granular and more accurate – and operational planning folk have quicker access to the data they need for labor and supply chain planning. If such a process includes automated variance alerting and workflow, planning and budgeting really can be the living pulse of performance management, where it belongs.
Click here to read Steve’s blog and link to his survey on budgeting and technology.