Consumerization of IT is one of the areas I’m most excited about these days. The trend has two sides. First, there’s the consumerization of IT within an enterprise, in which employees access corporate data and business systems from their mobile devices. Second, there’s the “enterprise-ation” of IT among consumers, in which anyone with a smartphone can use apps with enterprise functionality.
Business productivity apps are examples of enterprise functionality in the hands of consumers. Here’s a sample of some of the more interesting ones I personally use:
1. TurboScan for iOS. This app is a multipage scanner for receipts, documents, notes and more. Using your iPhone’s camera, you photograph each page of the document and then email it as one document in the form of a pdf or jpeg. I often use TurboScan to scan both handwritten and typed documents, particularly while traveling.
2. and 3. DocuSign and SignNow. Both are great electronic signature applications. Most of the term sheets I sign are via DocuSign and SignNow. In fact, I just signed a board consent for a financing on the way to dinner.
4. Todo Pro: Admittedly, I still write my weekly to-do list with a paper and pen. I’ve tried several task-organization apps that didn’t break me of the pen and paper habit, but I’m finding myself increasingly turning to Todo Pro. The app stores my to-do and shared team project lists across all my connected devices and provides task alerts.
5. Hootsuite: The application, available across multiple devices including mobile, is better known as a social media management platform. I actually use Hootsuite to organize and keep up with the news, posts from friends, and industry conversations — all across a number of social media networks, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. My use of Hootsuite might be a minority use case but one that is useful nonetheless.
6. Join.me: This is an online meeting and screen-sharing application that doesn’t require a download. You can even record the meeting. Participate on a computer or while-on-the-go with a mobile app.
7. SlideShark: This is a mobile app that lets you view PowerPoint presentations in their native format on any iOS device – so all animations, fonts, graphics, hyperlinks and videos remain intact while you’re viewing them. One great feature is the ability to use the iPhone as a remote control while presenting on another device, like an iPad.
It’s always a pleasure to discover new business apps. If you have one or two you like, please leave your recommendations.