Long the gold standard in large enterprise IT departments, HP hopes to challenge Apple’s iPad when the company releases its TouchPad tablet in April. While HP needs to work out several kinks before security-obsessed IT departments will accept the devices, several apps already on the market show how business users can skirt security concerns and integrate across platforms — offering field service users a glimpse into how adoption might work in their own organizations.
IT World’s Ryan Faas writes that HP’s upcoming TouchPad tablet, set to run on the webOS operating system, has the potential to gain ground on Apple in the enterprise tablet market, which makes sense considering HP PCs enjoy wide adoption in business settings across the world. But Faas questions whether HP will be able to take advantage of its existing business relationships.
The linchpin, it seems, will be how HP bakes in security support into the webOS platform, the operating system that will run the TouchPad and other yet-to-be-released devices — a concern for businesses of all sizes as employees lug their devices containing proprietary information out of the office in increasing numbers, and as some employees bring personal devices to work.
Citrix, a company specializing in networking and virtual computing, has answered the call with an app that’s already gained significant traction among business users to shore up security concerns and grant users access to Windows devices from Apple’s iPad. According to InformationWeek’s Bob Evans, the Citrix app has been downloaded more than 700,00 times and played a major role in the iPad’s penetration into healthcare. Citrix announced a slew of webOS-ready apps that will be available in time for the TouchPad’s launch.
That enterprise apps are easing some of the most prohibitive security and compatibility issues perhaps shouldn’t come as a surprise. As IT World’s Faas notes, apps — especially custom-made apps that address a specific business concern — are the sweet spot of smartphones and tablets. With several apps already on the market that target the needs of field service technicians, it will be interesting to see what happens as the space matures and developers continue to produce even more productivity apps for the service sector.