Although some IT managers and analysts claim that Apple's iPad isn't fully "enterprise ready" at the moment, developers are already at work creating specific applications for the enterprise environment. Currently iPad users can find the standard productivity apps for spreadsheets, presentations, word-processing and more. However a handful developers are already providing free, third-party enterprise apps that link back to corporate databases offered by those same third parties.
Computerworld (via Macworld) provides an example of some of the applications, reporting that Blackbaud has created an iPad version of its customer relationship management (CRM) back-office software used by non-profit organizations. When approved, this app would give charities and other groups mobile access to precise data on donations and donors.
Another example provided was MobileIron's Sentry App for the iPad. Now available on the App Store, this free app enables workers and IT managers the ability to establish a mobile command center on the device for monitoring and reacting to smartphones--especially rogues--that are accessing enterprise email accounts.
But the real question is not if the software will be available, but will the iPad really be a big hit in the corporate environment at al? While there's some enthusiasm, many don't consider it as a must-have device--others are using the wait-and-see approach. "Other than the 'cool factor' I don’t really see many enterprises uses for the iPad yet," said one IT manager.
Larger corporations like Nike and Disney may incorporate the device early simply to promote a high-tech image. While the iPad enterprise-based app library will continue to build, the device may not see a full warm welcome until the economy improves. "We are not spending as much on things just because they’re fun or cool," a non-profit IT manager admitted.