by Tom Kaneshige

iPad in the Workplace: What Are the Hottest Apps?

Dec 21, 2010
Enterprise Applications

Collaboration, training and mobile BI lead the pack of iPad apps enterprises are putting to work now.

If you’re one of five Americans who currently own a tablet computer or plan to during the next three years, there’s a good chance you’ll use the tablet for work, according to Harris Interactive, which released the results of an iPad app survey today. But what will you use it for?

“With two in five tablet owners using their device for business by 2015, we have officially entered the post PC era,” says Jeff Cavins, CEO of Fuze Box, a developer of collaboration apps and sponsor of the survey.

[ Find out why one company is ditching sales laptops for iPads, reports | One enterprise undergoes an Apple mobile makeover. ]

Tablets, particularly Apple iPads, have made inroads into the enterprise largely as powerful tools for sales folks to make presentations and tap into CRM apps. High-level executives are warming to tablets to deliver mobile business intelligence. But tablets offer something for everyone in the workplace, namely collaboration.


Aberdeen Group recently surveyed 240 companies, and respondents cited these top three mobile app strategies: improve communication and collaboration among team members (66 percent), rapidly deliver actionable information to the point of decision (48 percent), and use mobile software to increase customer intimacy (42 percent).

Aberdeen’s findings echo Harris Interactive’s. The latter surveyed 2,288 adults and found the top nine uses for tablets in the workplace: business correspondence (58 percent), online meetings and Web conferences (37 percent), marketing (34 percent), training (33 percent), finance and accounting (32 percent), sales (27 percent), graphic design (27 percent), inventory management (27 percent), customer support (24 percent).

Last month, Apperian unveiled its Enterprise App Service Environment, an iOS app that lists a company’s internal enterprise apps that can be downloaded and used by employees. Top apps in Apperian’s enterprise app store include training videos, HR documents and forms, scheduling, corporate directories, and even CRM mashups.

Such workplace uses could spike after Apple releases the iPad 2 rumored to hit the market in the first half of 2011. Odds are good that the iPad 2 will have front and back cameras, which can be used for online video meetings and taking pictures of inventory inside warehouses.

Tom Kaneshige covers Apple and Networking for Follow Tom on Twitter @kaneshige. Follow everything from on Twitter @CIOonline. Email Tom at