IT managers now have a growing list of iPad apps that enable them to go mobile. This includes apps that let them perform common IT management tasks that were once only possible when sitting at a PC keyboard. Other apps are clients for on-premises or Software as a Service (SaaS) IT infrastructure systems. These mobile apps extend the reach of IT managers and their teams both onsite and after hours to better help users and respond to incidents. Some of these apps are even free.
This roundup of the top iPad apps shows that IT managers can do a lot from their tablets, including monitoring their enterprise network, third-party cloud hosting and management, and interacting with their backend help desk system.
I've previously written about IT Manager, and
this subscription-based app tops my list, because it provides a full range of
common and specialized IT management tools in one iPad app, including:
- Free Google Apps domain manager
- Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)
- Telnet/VNC (Figure
- Windows administration tools
- Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud space administration tool
IT Manager enables users to add just the management tools you need to the app, and from all appearances, the developer has plans to expand the app's IT management tools in future releases.
You can use Telnet and VNC directly from your iPad with IT Manager.
Desktop virtualization is becoming an important technology in support of mobile workforces and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives in particular. For organizations standardized on Citrix products, Citrix Receiver is a flexible virtualization solution, with an easy setup routine. IT managers can use Citrix Receiver for providing managed Windows desktops or just Windows application access on iPads. Additionally, IT managers can use Citrix Receiver to setup a secure workspace to separate personal and business content. Its flexibility and easy setup makes it worth a look for IT managers in Citrix environments seeking a mobile virtualization solution.
Figure B shows a Windows 7 virtual desktop delivered by Citrix Receiver to an iPad:
A Windows desktop open in Citrix Receiver
on an iPad.
ManageEngine is moving towards a mobile first strategy for their IT management solutions, according to their president Raj Sabhlok. The ServiceDesk Plus app enables IT managers and their technicians to interact with help desk ticket requests in their backend ServiceDesk Plus or ServiceDesk Plus On Demand system easily on an iPad.
IT staff can filter requests based on criteria and then view, create, edit, and delete requests all from the iPad app. The app also captures a work log where users can add/modify resolutions for each request. Figure C shows the ServiceDesk Plus main screen:
ServiceDesk Plus main screen.
1Password for iPad
Vendor: AgileBits Inc.
Cost: $17.99 (USD) in the Apple App Store; 1Password Reader for free in the Google Play Store
Because remembering an ever-growing number of passwords or putting them in a word processing document just won't do, IT managers can look to 1Password for iPad for password management. It includes syncing between the iPad, iPhone, and PC/Mac apps. Usability-wise, it excels -- and for security, your passwords are locked down using a Master Password. Other notable features include a Strong Password Generator and detailed templates for entering database, login, and server credentials.
Figure D shows the 1Password for iPad template for entering server login information.
Server login information in 1Password.
Active Directory Assist
Vendor: BitsAbound Inc.
Cost: Free in the Apple App Store
If you're looking to manage Active Directory (AD) from your iPad, check out Active Directory Assist. This app supports the full gamut of AD tasks, including:
- User management tasks like password reset, enable and disable user accounts, add and move users to an OU in the Domain, and Delete Users
- Group management such as Move and Delete Groups, Search Group objects, view/edit group attributed, and manage group membership
- Computer management like search/view computer attributes, enable/disable computer accounts, and move/delete computer accounts
- Contact management such as search/view contacts and move/delete contacts
You can also run reports from the app to find locked users, accounts expiring in 14 days, and passwords expiring in 7 days. Figure E shows the Active Directory Assist main screen:
Active Directory Assist main screen.
Mobile apps are replacing standalone IT management tools, and more IT infrastructure vendors are offering iPad apps for their on-premise and cloud offerings. That said, this round up of IT management apps show that mobile options for IT managers abound right now and can free IT managers and their staffs from a PC at their desk to be working with users and equipment out on the floor.
Will Kelly is a technical and marketing communications writer based in the Washington, DC area. He has written about SMB technology, data center management, project management applications, mobile computing, Microsoft Office, and productivity applications for online and print technology publications. You can reach Will at firstname.lastname@example.org.