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Enterprise Apps for Pad Platforms: Cool Technology, Hard Questions

A recent sit-down with a new eforms-on-a-pad application sparked a fascinating conversation that underscored just how important it is to look beyond the technical specs of a new technology and consider the business model behind it as well – especially when the platform is as captivating as the Apple iPad and its growing list of competitors are.

Without divulging any trade secrets, let’s just say that the software in question is intended to run natively on such a device and to function fully whether on- or offline. The utility of such an offering is unassailable – in-the-field polling, medical diagnostics, and sales order-taking are but three uses that come immediately to mind – but questions abound about how and whether to best embrace it. Here are a few to get the dialogue going:

  • Does the pad manufacturer have to approve/certify the application before it can be brought to market? If so, what does this mean for the availability of upgrades, maintenance, and support?
  • Does the application have to be bought through an app store or can it be obtained and installed directly from the vendor or a distribution partner?
  • Is the application ‘open’ enough to accommodate ready interoperability with your other information solutions?
  • In other words, how much like a typical computing tablet is the pad in terms of software care-and-feeding?

The introduction of pad technology into enterprise-oriented conversations is just one example of how consumer-bred technology is infiltrating into business organizations. This trend not only will continue, but will accelerate from this point forward. As it does, you want to be sure to look beyond how ‘cool’ it all is and ask the tough business model questions to determine whether and how it suits your needs.

What questions do you have? Drop me a line and let me know, for helping you to answer them is precisely why I’m here!

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