In fact, in October of last year Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that “93 percent of Fortune 500 companies are deploying or testing iPhone” and earlier this month it was revealed that energy conglomerate Halliburton is among those making the jump.
The rapid rise in the popularity of the iPhone is due, in no small part, to Apple’s App Store. The odds are good that if there’s something you’d like your smartphone to do, someone out there has written an app to do it. This is especially true when it comes to business apps. From scanning documents to video chatting, the iPhone can do it all. Here are six killer apps that will help you get the most out of your iPhone in an enterprise environment.
Apps for the Mobile Business Professional
Working from a mobile device allows you to be productive in just about any environment without a full-fledged computer. Here are some great mobile apps to help you keep that laptop in its bag while you’re on the go.
1. Dropbox: If you haven’t heard of Dropbox yet you’re missing out. Dropbox is a service that stores your files in the cloud (virtual online servers) so you can access them anywhere, anytime. It also maintains a copy of your files on your iPhone for when you don’t have mobile service. Dropbox is a free app and includes up to 5 GB of storage but you can pay to upgrade if you run out.
2. Cisco WebEx Meetings: When it comes to enterprise networking solutions Cisco is the name among names, and when it comes to business teleconferencing its WebEx app is the standard for many companies.
Before the iPhone, joining a meeting required a personal computer with a supported web cam. WebEx Meetings for iPhone frees you up significantly. It uses the iPhone’s built-in camera to connect you to your company’s meeting wherever you have a Wi-Fi connection.
Cisco WebEx Meetings is a free app but it requires special configuration information for its initial setup. Talk to your IT team to see if it’s right for you.
3. TurboScan: If you’ve got some printed documents you need to send back to the office signed or if you’re looking to go paperless, TurboScan is a useful tool. This app uses the iPhone’s camera as a scanner to quickly and easily create pixel-perfect multiple-page PDFs and lets you email them wherever they need to go. TurboScan is a steal at $1.99.
4. TripIt: Do you travel a lot for work? If so, TripIt can be a lifesaver. TripIt’s web service can monitor your email and automatically aggregates all your transportation and lodging information in one place. With TripIt you no longer need to hunt for that elusive email containing all your travel itinerary; TripIt sends you reminders to check in, and alerts you if your flight is delayed.
You can also link the app to your LinkedIn and Facebook accounts to share your plans with friends, family, and colleagues. The TripIt app is available for free with ads or $3.99 without. The basic service is also free but some features require a Pro account for $49 per year.
Apps That Make Security Easy
In the bustling world of corporate espionage, security is important. No one wants the company’s data falling into the hands of a competitor. Here are two apps that can make sure you’re keeping your company’s information secure while using your iPhone for business.
5. 1Password: Just about everything we do on the web uses some sort of login/password combination. However, with the amount of services and sites one needs to sign into on a daily basis, keeping track of all that info can be a challenge. Far too often people jot down their passwords in text files and address book fields and leave themselves vulnerable if their devices are stolen.
1Password solves this by acting as a secure central repository for all the usernames, passwords and sites you need to access on a daily basis. The app also uses hardware assisted encryption to keep the thieves out, thus freeing you up to remember only one password. 1Password costs $9.99 for the iPhone but there’s also a Pro version for $14.99 that works on your iPad.
6. Find My iPhone: An app like 1Password might keep the thieves out of your data but it won’t help you if your bag is stolen or if you leave your iPhone on the seat of a cab. This is where Find My iPhone comes in.
As part of Apple’s iCloud service, Find My iPhone allows you to track your device’s location, send an alert with sounds, and even remotely lock or delete your data in case it falls into the wrong hands. It’s also great for figuring out which stack of papers you’ve buried your phone under! Find My iPhone is free and it requires an iCloud account (also free) to activate it.
While the apps mentioned here represent some of the best enterprise business apps available for the iPhone, we recommend you take a look at the Business section of the App Store for even more productivity app ideas.
John Morrison: John is a freelance photographer, writer, and traveler based out of Chicago. He is a graduate of the Pratt Institute with a BA in Visual Communications. Before joining Sprout, John previously worked for Apple Inc. as a lead creative and business associate. He likes old Polaroid cameras, New York style pizza, and typing in the third person. Connect with him on Twitter: @localcelebrity