The CIO's iPad toolkit
Handling technology infrastructure is tough, you're always on. You need up-to-the-minute data, permanent access to corporate systems (even from the beach), you need to be committed, connected and planning and resource management are critical. If you've purchased a tablet in the last few months it's probably an iPad, so we've put together a short list of apps every CIO's iPad should have on board.
Many complain the iPad won't let you run apps beside each other, as you can on a Mac or PC. Desktop lets you run up to three of the following side-by-side in one window: email, browser, calculator, notepad, currency converter, maps, translator, unit conversion, voice recorder, a world clock, even US weather reports. An excellent productivity tool.
We're not recommending you use this service for those mission critical top secret files but for sharing work-in-progress between platforms, mobile devices and workgroups, Dropbox is hard to beat. The free service is available on almost every platform and allows you to store Gigabytes of data at no charge, all of which is mirrored on each registered device.
Dragon Dictation (free)
There's some who dislike the iPad’s built-in keyboard. Others just want a way to jot down a quick memo on-the-go. Using Dragon Dictation you can dictate emails or any other form of text, which you can then copy-and-paste into your chosen word processing app, such as the Word-compatible Pages app.
Apple's version of PowerPoint, Keynote is nicely compatible with Microsoft's presentation software and makes for a good tool for going through your slides, editing or even creating PPT files. The big draw is that, in conjunction with Apple's Digital AV Adaptor, you can use your iPad to show your presentations.
Web conferencing using Cisco's meeting standard is easy and, now the iPad 2 has a camera, pleasing. Everything is supported: view presentations, take a look at the presenters desktop, be involved. Alternative collaboration apps could include Skype, GoToMeeting and Apple's FaceTime.
Citrix Receiver for iPad (free)
If your company runs Citrix, then you have access to the full Microsoft Office suite as well as every CRM or back-end database your firm has on its machines. There's alternatives, too: iTeleport ($24.99) amd PocketCloud ($14.99) both aim to connect you to your home or office computer.
WinAdmin, iPad Edition ($7.99)
As a CIO, you might have to drop into your Windows-based network from time-to-time. Take a look at this app, which provides a Microsoft Windows RDP (remote desktop protocol) client to connect with remote Windows systems. Run applications remotely, change configurations, and more.
You want to create flow charts for ideas, network changes, site design, you need OmniGraffle. Equally useful for idea development or event planning. You may also like Popplet, which helps you organise and develop your ideas.
These are just a taste of the many handy iPad apps out there for business users, with more appearing on the platform every day.