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The driving idea behind our Quarterly Review of Business Apps series is to convey a sense of the scope and variety of interesting, useful and economically advantageous activities that business users and IT pros can accomplish using smartphones and tablets.
I really love this paper about mobile productivity apps because I have to admit I'm not really seeing much regarding how apps are really helping employees, consultants or volunteers at nonprofits do their jobs better, serve more clients, etc.
This paper breaks business apps down into six general categories, and some apps might belong to more than one of these categories:
1. IT management: Apps that allow IT professionals to work remotely more effectively by gathering information about users, devices and traffic on the network.
2. Portability: For the most part, these are enterprise alternatives to Dropbox that offer some combination of increased security, live links to enterprise data and enhanced governance.
3. Workflow: Frameworks and technologies that provide a custom front-end interface for enterprise data that enables workflow enhancements.
4. Convenience: A broad category that encompasses apps that take advantage of mobility to make things easier for mobile workers.
5. Communications: Connecting employees and partners through social networks for business, enhanced by VoIP calls, video calls and conferencing; to be covered in a future issue.
6. Mobile device management: Technology that sits between the mobile OS and the app layer to enforce corporate policies around smartphone and tablet usage; to be covered in a future issue.
I think the paper might be helpful to network admins and IT managers at nonprofits, and some of the apps under workflow, convenience and communications would be beneficial to nonprofits as well - but I would *love* a paper like this from the nonprofit program perspective. Actually, I'd love anyone to say, "I work at such-and-such nonprofit and here's an app that's essential to my work...."
-=-=-=-=-=- Jayne Cravens Author, The LAST Virtual Volunteering Guidebook
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