Apple’s iPad 3 was released in March to much fanfare.
While some commentators suggested that users wouldn’t upgrade and that the device was unlikely to shift in great numbers, in fact 3 million units were purchased on its opening weekend – a staggering number of devices ending up in the hands of both consumers and corporates alike.
One of the most telling numbers from Tim Cook’s keynote was this: Apple sold 15.4 million iPads in the same period that HP (currently the worlds number one PC vendor) shipped 15.1 million laptops. The Post PC world is now truly upon us.
One of the most important features of any mobile platform is its application store and the ability it offers to search through millions of applications, find one relevant to the task at hand, and have it up and running in seconds.
This is a very different experience to that of most corporate users who need to make a request to IT, wait for someone to be assigned, re-confirm their request and the reason why they need an application and then hope that IT install it and it just works – an experience that’s the complete opposite of what they see on their consumer device.
Right now, application stores are one of the missing pieces in BYO and Mobility generally. Corporations are buying devices and building management platforms to give these devices to users, but when it comes to apps they are leaving them out in the cold.
To transform a basic BYO policy into something that can really support their business, CIOs must focus on Apps. These are what will help your users gain real business value. Whether it’s expediting sales, approving forms and workflows anytime anywhere or assisting in presentations by using live data from corporate systems, the opportunities are only limited by the imagination.
Beyond the millions of applications available commercially in the App Store, your can also build your own internal applications, from basic sales catalogues through to Mobile Document Management systems.
With the exponential growth of web apps and other OS platforms inside the enterprise the concept of an enterprise app store for all apps, not just mobile ones, is increasingly powerful – especially if it allows for apps to follow users across devices with built-in location awareness.
As a user, I want my enterprise app store to follow me between devices and to understand the capabilities of the device I’m using to deliver the best experience. It should also know where I’m coming from (physically) and secure my session appropriately.
Expect the future to hold great things for the development of the enterprise app stores as enterprises look to offer their staff a more flexible workplace and work style.
Rhys Evans is Thomas Duryea’s National Practice Manager, Enterprise Information Systems.