Oh dear: How many Aussie CIOs did NOT buy an iPad?


When Delimiter started snooping around this week to work out which Australian chief information officers had bought an Apple iPad, we expected to find quite a few that had. What we didn’t expect to find is that almost every chief information officer that we checked out had picked up one of the hyped Apple tablets.

We’ve spoken to Macquarie University chief information officer Marc Bailey about the device before (he was quite positive about it), so we weren’t surprised to see that he’d picked one up.

Altium CIO Alan Perkins is a big supporter of cloud software, so we likewise weren’t surprised to see he had an iPad, although we’re sorry to hear that he’s been sick.

But when it was when we started casting our net a little further to CIOs that we don’t know that well personally that we started to find we had a bit of a trend on our hands. University of Wollongong CTO Joe McIver, ACT Department of Education, Employment & Workplace Relations CIO Glenn Archer, Queensland University of Technology director of Facilities and Infrastructure Graham Keys … they’ve all got iPads!

You might think that the plague of CIOs with iPad stops there. But it doesn’t. It just gets worse. Dealsdirect.com.au CIO Mark Cohen has one:

And it looks like John Sheridan, division manager of the Australian Government Information Management Office might be eyeing one off:

Curtin University CIO Peter Nikoletatos at least has access to one, although we’re not sure if he owns one:

Leighton Holdings general manager of Information Systems Sean Kaye has posted a comprehensive review of the iPad, including his thoughts on its use by senior managers:

When we investigated one Australian chief information officer — Ray White CIO Steve Berg — however, we found absolutely no evidence that he had bought one of the hyped Apple tablets. But we think this might be because he’s in love with another gadget.

Oh dear.


  1. I think it goes without saying that if such an esteemed group of people all have purchased the device and are so very happy with their purchase that Apple are really onto a winner. I mean really, with the intelligent, handsome and charming group you’ve surveyed, it really is unlikely they’d be wrong.

      • Just blissing out on how easy it is to get that sort of information. Back in my day *dons the grey wig* that would take a bunch of phone calls to people suspicious of why you wanted to know and what you were going to do with that information.

        Apologies for the tangential comment.

        • Oh no worries, I agree. This was more of a lighthearted piece though — I still do call CIOs and ask them detailed questions about what they’re doing … this is more to tease them a little ;)

  2. Typing this response on my iPad. My biggest beef with the iPad, having used it now for a few weeks, is that it is still a closed device. I have been able to do some really cool mind maps, which makes it a really great thinking tool. but I cannot really work with Google Docs – the only tools that can edit them ruin the CSS in the original document.

    The built in keyboard is absolutely fine – I chaired a meeting last night and handed the iPad to someone else to take minutes on – no problem.

    But the fact that the environment is very closed is a bit of a concern.

    Alan Perkins, CIO, Altium Limited

    • hey Alan,

      that’s my personal problem as well — and the reason I am still planning eventually to switch to using a mobile phone based on Android rather than my iPhone.

      I do wonder whether corporations are able to build their own in-house iPad apps and run them on their corporate iPads without Apple’s approval through the App Store. If not, this would seriously limit the tablet’s usefulness in a corporate environment.

      But even on a personal sense, I don’t like the idea that there is an arbitrary authority (read: Steve Jobs) deciding which apps I can and can’t run on my iPad in general. Even if they have a fairly liberal view of things. It’s still a step back from the platforms that we have today — the PC, Mac OS X, Linux — where we can run anything we choose.

      • Philosophically I agree – the whole idea of a closed device is anathema. But don’t forget this cool concept called the browser. It is the ultimate killer app.

        I am doing some experimentation with a tool called Morfik (www.morfik.com) – We have been developing apps using Morfik for a long time, but their new version 3, currently in beta, provides native templates for iPad and iPhone apps written generically for any browser.

        Time will tell how this all pans out. Google have yet to be able to write an application that truly facilitates doc editing on the iPad, and the third party apps all mangle your HTML. It appears ultimately that the key determinant in the iPad usefulness will be the power of the browser.

        Android anyone?

  3. Interesting to see that all those people like their ipads, hopefully their enthusiasm will lead to more productive ways to use the internet to interact with their respective organisations. However this is only a good thing if they create more than just an ipad application, e.g. Android, HTML5 etc. Otherwise they are just funnelling more and more people into the locked-down Steve Jobs vision of the future.

      • The irony is that I am looking at an iPhone 4 upgrade and an android tablet.

        1. I realised I have been efectively vendor locked with my media purchases and apps. The HTC android units are very nice, however as we have seen with the Palm Pre, Apple has a squril grip on iTunes and will fight hard to prevent syncing with other devices.

        2. An Andoid tablet will be free-er than the iPad. However, I envision using a tablet in a diferent way than I use my phone. Mainly for Role Playing books, tools and character sheets. I dont think I will be using it for media, excpet for books, which I have avoided being DRM’ed as much as possable.

        • I’m waiting ’til the end of year sales, Darryl. The new nVidia and Intel tablet oriented hardware will be out by then and everyone will be discounting like a mad bastard >< Bottom line for me, though, is still root shell out of the box. I see people moaning about BT mouse HID disabled on blah device. I laughed. 7 lines of shell code on Maemo got my n900 happening with a BT keyboard. This isn't 1984. This isn't rocket surgery. ;)

          • “Precisely, although for many people it might as well be (rocket surgery, that is).”
            I suspect if more people had hassled the forums about it, someone would’ve written an app ;)

          • for me, the perfect device would be a screen the size of a Kindle DX, 8+ baterry life with radios on. Dont need it for media, that is why I have an iPhone. I have hit the storage limit for an 8gb iPhone, so more storage would be better (maybe a SSD drive?)

            I would be intrested how people find the kindle for browsing, as the Kobo showed me the good and the bad of the eInk screens.

          • I do wonder if people actually use the Kindle for browsing — to my mind it would distract from the essential function of the device — eReading. I like the way my Kobo simply does books and nothing else. I think of it as a book — whatever book I am currently reading.

        • Hey Darryl, curious to know why you’re pursuing an iPhone 4 upgrade in the context of the Apple lockdown? Do you have existing media locked in to that platform etc?

          I currently personally don’t see much space for a tablet in my life, but I am still quite interested in the eBook reader market. The Kobo isn’t quite there for me yet, but at least it’s a start. Attempting to check out the Kindle next.

          • It is not media lockin per say…it is more lazyness.

            I have iTune set up nicely, to recatalog in say MS Media Player, XMMS or Amorak would be a pain. Most of the media I have is DRM free, but the iTunes media store is the best around.

            I have used Bandit.FM, as well as other stores (like the now defunct Bigpond Music WMA shop), and the extra steps to catalog them, fix any album art is something I can do, but can live without.

            The Apps are definetly a lock in. I use Tweetdeck and Seesmic, as well some games (Plants v Zombies, We Rule) and other apps. I would have to research fully to see if the apps I have are on android and are equal or better than what I use. I use Gmail solely on the iPhone, and while I could use Gmail on andoid or PC, my email workflow would change :-S

            For Ebooks, a Kindle may be a good option your. It has some features the Kobo missess (the browser for one, given the ability to buy books in the device). I have found that Kobo + Calibre is the perfect combo for me, but I can see the appeal of a Kindle myself.

            I am definately a Linux Hippie (TM) and the lockin really annoys me. The iPhone 3 would be perfect if it had multitasking (so I can tweet and stream TWIT Podcasts live), and secondary storage would be nice (SD Card). However, the Camera+ App from @mostlylisa has actually turned me away from andoid, as it is a fantastic camera app (Far better than the crap Apple bundles) and with a better camera the iphone image capability becomes really compelling.

            With my experience with the iPhone, I see that my use of a tablet would be different, and I dont want be locked in again. There is a comfort zone with devices, and the opotunity cost of using an iPad is more lockin due to lazyness (if that made sense).

          • It is more or less the same with me. I would prefer to use Ubuntu as my main operating systems on my PCs, but laziness keeps me with Windows 7 x64. I do have a few apps that are not easily available on Linux — Photoshop, for one, and the games that I have bought for Steam.

            I am generally uneasy with the choice of Windows as a long-term platform, but it skates the right level in the middle between the hardware lockdown of Mac OS X and the lack of compatibility of Linux. It has its problems, but in general it’s the best mix for what I want to do.

          • Steam for Linux ain’t that far away. And I think as a journo/commentator you’re being overly harsh (intentional or not) on Codeweavers. Sure, Steam’s big Webkit update broke them, but they fixed it fast (let’s also mention Steam’s pending Linux release) as well that Photoshop is ‘officially supported’ by Codeweavers (and has been for as long as I care to recall). And honestly, if you can’t get XP happening inside an Ubuntu VM to run Photoshop, you really aren’t trying and should check out of the business before it’s too late. ;)

          • I’m not really being overly harsh on Codeweavers — I have been using their software for years now. And sure, maybe Steam will be available on Linux. But 90 percent of the games (and I am a big gamer) won’t be.

            It’s got to do with efficiency. I have dual-booted operating systems for ten years now, between Linux and Windows — and sometimes even triple-booted with a Hackintosh. But I realised it wasn’t efficient to do things that way and I needed to pick one platform and stay with it — regardless of that platform’s problems.

            I actually do use all three major operating systems. I use Win7 x64 on my work and home desktop PCs, I use Mac OS X on my MacBook Pro, and I use Ubuntu (a LTS version) on my Linux media centre in the loungeroom. I’ve found this combination best for my needs.

            Yes, I could get Photoshop running in a VM on an Ubuntu machine, but it would be a pain when I use it every 10minutes. It’s just not efficient to do it that way — and that’s what I have broadly realised about computers over the past 10 years. They are a tool — they are not the end game.


          • Actually, I managed for a long time to run everything via Ubuntu. My MMO of choice, City of Heroes, ran better under Cegada than under a Dell default install with vista.

            It was EQ2 and Star Trek Online beta that forced me back to Windows Vista (shudder, I hate Vista with all that is holy). I would have moved back to Ubuntu, but 10.4 was a road smash of a release (the graphic server was so not ready for primetime it was sickening. I kept saying during the beta process “it will work when gold.” It didn’t)

            For a PC, I use Open Office and GIMP, and use Sun/Oracle Virtualbox. The only app that does not work or have a native linux client is iTunes, and I was mucking around using a virtual machine for the music. I would leave itunes to sort the database and use Amorak or XMMS for the playback.

            I gleefully destroy partitions on my computer, and muck around with mutable operating systems. Its funny what I do on the PC I don’t want to do on my phone. I must be sick

    • Well, “Bilbo” first of all, if you’re going to cast those kind of aspersions, perhaps you could be brave enough to use your proper name. Questioning people’s integrity under a pseudonym is pathetic.

      I personally paid for my own iPad, not work or a handout, my credit card. I will do the same with my iPhone 4. When you’re responsible for large procurement decisions, it would be stupid to compromise yourself for a gadget that I can afford with a day or two’s pay.

    • And for what it’s worth, the four executives I work with most closely and me all paid for our own iPads. All the senior public servants I know, in fact all the public servants I know, take the APS Code of Conduct very seriously.

  4. I understand now why I’m a technical Director and not a CIO … I don’t own an iPad, and don’t want to either, although if you have a free one … ;>

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