I posted an article a few months ago about iPads in the enterprise, and I received a number of reader comments, emails, and other feedback on how the iPad is being used (or not used) iPad in a business environment. After talking to a number of IT pros, vendor representatives, and other journalists covering the IT industry, it's clear that the iPad is gaining some traction with businesses and enterprises. Granted, many companies are putting the iPad through its paces on a trial basis, while others are embracing the device for mainstream use.
In a report on the iPad published last November, Gartner Fellow and Vice President Stephen Prentice urged CEOs to encourage their IT departments to examine the iPad for enterprise use. "It is not usually the role of the CEO to get directly involved in specific technology device decisions, but Apple's iPad is an exception," said Prentice. "It is more than just the latest consumer gadget; and CEOs and business leaders should initiate a dialogue with their CIOs about if they have not already done so...organizations need to recognize that there are soft benefits in a device of this type in the quest to improve recruitment and retention. Technology is not always about productivity."If you're faced with the prospect of supporting an iPad deployment in your organization, I've put together a short list of accessories and applications that some readers have found useful when it comes to getting the iPad to function in an office environment.
Apple iPad VGA Adapter ($29)
Website: Apple Store
This adapter allows the iPad (and iPad 2) to be connected to a VGA monitor, which makes the iPad more useful as a presentation tool -- as long as the iPad app you're using supports VGA output. (Suggested by Windows IT Pro reader Quesne, additional feedback by Robert Rosen.)
Apple Digital AV Adapter ($39)
Website: Apple Store
Another Apple-produced adapter, this one allows the iPad/iPad2 to be connected to a HDMI-compatible display for even larger display output options.
A service that lets you store your presentations in the cloud, then present them in online, collaborative meetings via a mobile device such as the iPad. (Suggested by Windows IT Pro reader Quesne.)
A cloud backup service that lets users store, sync, and share data online. (Suggested by Paul M. Abke - @pmabke)
An iPad app that loads and reads dozens of different file types, useful for working with environments that rely on a variety of mixed document types. (Suggested by Windows IT Pro reader Quesne.)
Images / Photos / VideoPic Transfer 3
"[An app] good for transferring photos from my iPhone to my iPad for insertion into Keynote or other apps." - Paul M. Abke
Orb "Useful for watching training videos that are not formatted for the iPad."
Microsoft Office CompatibilityApple Pages, Keynote, Numbers (Suggested by Paul M. Abke - @pmabke)
Documents To Go (Suggested by Paul M. Abke - @pmabke)
Office2 HD (Suggested by Paul M. Abke - @pmabke)
Note Taking/To Do ListsEvernote
Website: www.evernote.com (Suggested by Paul M. Abke - @pmabke)
"Great for organizing all the IT tasks, notes and reading that I need to keep track of. Love the synch and OCR features. I can send handwritten notes from Notes Plus and Evernote will OCR them in seconds." - Paul Abke
Notes Plus (Suggested by Paul M. Abke - @pmabke)
Penultimate (Suggested by Paul M. Abke - @pmabke)
Printing / FaxingHack for enabling AirPrint for any printer (Suggested by Paul M. Abke - @pmabke)
FaxBurner (Send/Receive Faxes with iPad) (Suggested by Paul M. Abke - @pmabke)
Remote AccessJumpDesktop (Suggested by Paul M. Abke - @pmabke)
Citrix Receiver (Suggested by Paul M. Abke - @pmabke)
iPad SharePoint Clients
There are a number of SharePoint apps for the iPad and iPhone; some of the most popular are listed below.
Attache: SharePoint Client (by LUCRUM)
iShare (by Spyk Software)
iSharePhone (by Webstate)
iSP-Browser (by iSP Apps)
Moshare (by Moprise)
SharePlus Office Mobile Client (by SouthLabs)
If you're currently using an iPad in a business environment and have tips, tricks, or a useful accessory to share, drop me an email or tweet and I'll credit your advice with your name and/or Twitter handle. I'll be continually updating this article as new tips, tricks, and gadgets become available.