Software

How scalable iOS apps serve businesses of any size

Apple helps organizations of all sizes, from mom-and-pop shops to even the largest organizations, deploy iOS in creative ways to improve operations. Read about some iOS business apps that scale.

Your organization is neither too small nor too large to reap the rewards of using iOS. Whether professionals need help tracking activities in the field, accessing documentation, joining virtual meetings, or leveraging custom-built apps to perform daily tasks, Apple's iOS can help.

Many companies, including GE and IBM, partner with Apple to develop incredibly scalable customized iOS applications. The apps can do everything from enhance efficiencies in healthcare environments to generate operations and analytics delivered on iPhones, iPads, and even via Apple Watches. The data and information the iOS apps return enable making better informed critical business decisions within the rail and freight, airline, chemical, government, finance, and retail industries, among others.

SEE: Software usage policy (Tech Pro Research)

British Airways, for example, leverages iPads to ensure customer service quality remains high using its custom-built FlightInfo app. Previously colleagues received a printout in shift briefings, but the documents quickly became outdated as inevitable changes and circumstances arose throughout their shifts. By placing real-time information in employees' hands, the FlightInfo app improves customer service. And paper passenger lists have been replaced with iPads to better enable senior cabin crew members to interpret what needs to be done at any given moment to best meet individual passenger needs.

Rest assured, your organization doesn't need to be a British Airways, GE, or IBM (or any of the other partners Apple promotes as having grown with it into the enterprise partner space) to leverage iOS app benefits. Regardless of your organization's size, the fact Apple's penetrated the global multinational space and is assisting large enterprises in improving and furthering their reach should provide confidence your firm can experience similar wins.

Numerous partners have developed scalable iOS business apps.

SAP Roambi Analytics assists mobile business professionals needing compelling interactive reports and charts that track critical dashboard and KPI information using iPhones and iPads. The application simplifies converting information from such tools as Excel, Box, business intelligence systems, and other platforms to create analytics that can more easily be filtered, customized, analyzed, and understood.

ForceManager is a mobile CRM app for mobile sales professionals the delivers geolocation support for planning sales opportunities and visits, referencing sales pipeline information, recording sales activities in the field, and accessing marketing collateral materials. Salesforce, meanwhile, collects business processes, CRM tools, collaboration capabilities, records, and even existing customizations and extends those features onto its iPhone and iPad apps.

NetSuite offers its cloud software users a unified business management suite right on the iPhone, ensuring professionals can log activities, track expenses, record time, approve document submissions, and view KPI and scorecard dashboards while on the go. Cisco offers dozens of iOS apps—everything from Cisco's WebEx Meetings platform to the Jabber collaboration application are available to further extend the reach and value of the investments organizations make in various business-critical systems.

And for every large organization that leverages SAP and Cisco technologies, there are apps like DocuSign that help organizations of all sizes securely receive and sign contracts, agreements, authorization forms, and other documents in a legally binding way using iPhones and iPads. And Microsoft's OneDrive, which delivers secure cloud-based enterprise file storage and access on the go.

SEE: Turning big data into business insights (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic)

Whether your organization is big or small, Apple's iOS platform and third-party developers of all varieties have built everything from highly customized apps to tools, programs, and utilities any business can leverage to further extend their software investments, better-assist employees fulfilling professional demands in today's environments that demand mobility, and match any deployment and utilization scale. Don't make the mistake of thinking you're too small or too big—there's an app for that.

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Image: Apple Inc.

About Erik Eckel

Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president o...

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