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U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs chooses iPad over PlayBook

The department is currently testing iOS security with sensitive documents before bulk employment of Apple devices to government employees

While RIM is busy celebrating its PlayBook official seal of approval for U.S. governmental use, another U.S. department could be close to certifying Apple’s iPad for official business operation as well.

According to Veterans Affairs CIO Roger Baker, employees of the department should be able to use their Apple devices internally with the department network by October 1st if security testing completes smoothly.

Of course, any information or documents within the network must be as secure as possible even in iPads or iPhones. “We will have to be clear about enforcement,” said Baker. “The most important thing is the ability to store information in an encrypted form.”

Baker has additional reasons for attempting to incorporate Apple tablets and phones. By using these ultra-mobile devices, the department can save expenditures for the organization as iPads and iPhones are cheaper than many notebooks. As Baker explained, “These [mobile devices] are cheaper than laptops. An employee can have either this or a laptop.”

As for why the department will be choosing iPads over Android tablets, the CIO claims he has had many requests from employees to use third-party medical applications specifically designed for Apple’s iOS. He is concerned that if he continues to deny employees access, then they will instead seek work-arounds one way or another on their own.

According to Federal Computer Week, about 20,000 to 30,000 employees of Veterans Affairs already use BlackBerry mobile devices with the internal network. By October 1st, iOS devices could enter the fray if all goes as planned.


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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2011 07 > U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs chooses iPad over PlayBook
Allen Ngo, 2011-07-26 (Update: 2012-05-26)