Best Tablets for Your Business
Tablet computers: are they tools or toys in the workplace? Many ask this question when trying to determine if they’re a good investment. This month, Business Review Canada got up close and personal with four of today’s biggest names in the industry. Find out their respective pros and cons and how you can utilize them in your office’s everyday tasks.
Self described as the “world’s first professional-grade tablet,” the BlackBerry PlayBook is uniquely designed for business use. Promoting the fact that the tablet can work smarter and play harder, the PlayBook features a 7-inch multi-touch display, a dual-core processor and a compatibility with BlackBerry Enterprise Server, which allows you to share via Bluetooth a nearby BlackBerry’s data. Offering multitasking, ultra-portability and the ability to use Flash (something the iPad is incapable of), the tablet looks like a good choice for the busy professional.
On the other side, some say the BlackBerry PlayBook’s app store is seriously lacking in availability. But, Research In Motion has announced that apps already available for the BlackBerry smartphone will soon be available for the PlayBook.
Starting at $499, this uniquely Canadian tablet seems to be a good bet for office productivity and communications.
King of the tablet market, the Apple iPad2 is widely known as a reliable tablet computer. Its iOS, long battery life, multitude of apps and accessories put it at the top of the tablet industry. Many business professionals use the iPad2 for reading/writing email, browsing the web, PowerPoint presentations and staying connected when away from the desk. Other features, such as the dual core processor, two cameras and its size are perfect for professionals on the go.
Although there are many who are loyal to anything Apple produces, some say the iPad2 is limiting by the way it uses its apps. As a tablet is not exactly a replacement for a computer, critics say that the iPad’s heavy focus on applications as the only source for program content may hinder a user’s ability to employ it at work.
Starting at $499, the iPad2 helps busy professionals keep up with work when away from the office.
Using Google’s Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” OS, the Motorola Xoom brings tablet speed to a new level. This 10.1 inch tablet will let you multi-task to your heart’s content. Like the PlayBook, the Xoom has dual cameras and web browsing capabilities that support Flash while its HDMI connectivity allows for easy sharing of its screen. The additional multitude of apps will give you access to everything that you need.
No tablet is perfect, of course. Memory isn’t expandable for the Xoom, but you’ll have up to 32 GB of storage for everything that you need. Additionally, the Xoom’s Android system was originally receptive to malware through apps that store data, but such apps have been since removed from Android’s Marketplace.
Starting at $599, your portable computing is backed by Google, a fact that almost sells the Motorola Xoom by itself.
Released on July 1st, the HP TouchPad has been created from a Palm and HP collaboration. The first tablet to run webOS, the new tablet is already causing a stir with its multi-tasking capabilities. Being able to answer calls and read text messages makes the HP TouchPad even more unique. Tap the TouchPad and a phone together to share documents, websites, songs, texts or calls, the tablet’s Touch-to-Share feature makes things easy and utilizes cloud computing capabilities. Running about the same size specs as the iPad2, the TouchPad has a dual-core processer, 16 to 32 GB of storage and a 1.3 megapixel camera.
When reviewed, the HP TouchPad was said to not be as polished as the iPad, although the interface was still attractive and different. Poor battery life is another criticism, but later versions are expected to improve quality overall.
Starting at $499, the HP TouchPad brings multi-tasking to the forefront for those professionals that never stop moving.
How changing your company's software code can prevent bias
Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day.
Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization.
Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.
Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?
We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization
What impact can exclusive terms have on employees?
Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.
Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code
Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!
What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?
What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.
What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology?
My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve.