iPad, largely touted as a consumer device for content consumption, has emerged to address the needs of managers. Why is iPad so useful for people who thrive on creating new ideas and new business models?
Three key points come to mind…
- Physical and operational agility – iPad is ready for work the moment you touch the home button and in every context. Entrepreneurs, typically cut from type-A cloth, have no tolerance or patience for anything that involves waiting.
- Access to lightweight cloud services – iPad can easily connect to services that streamline access and collaboration with spreadsheets and documents at near-zero cost.
- Planning and strategic apps – the App Store has a wealth of solutions designed to create, monitor, and manage business plans and ideas.
With the current economic climate, managers now, more than ever, must sustain a degree of operational efficiency. Even though it’s a great time to be building new business models, keeping costs low and operational performance high, has become even more important. Immediate profitability is just as important as sound business fundamentals.
Here are five apps that can help business owners and managers streamline the business of expanding your business model. My picks may surprise you, but I make this assumption at the outset – executives and managers have already chosen basic business apps such as word processing, collaboration, and spreadsheet tools. What I’m talking about in this article are apps that encircle the basic mobile tasks and tend to provide specific solutions for creativity and strategic planning and management.
- IdeaWell – an app that helps you visually track and measure ideas based on mostly subjective rankings. This app is pretty simple, but that’s one of the benefits. With just a few taps you can add your ideas and visually assess which are most likely to lead to positive outcomes. This app is also agile enough that it can be used to compare business opportunities at a high level or ideas surrounding specific objectives within a given business.
- DropBox – an app that makes it easy to synchronize files across desktop, smartphone, and tablet. Most of the popular iPad apps also integrate with DropBox, increasing operational performance. DropBox also provides basic collaboration features that allow files and folders to be easily shared (securely) with colleagues.
- InstaPaper – an app that you wouldn’t ordinarily think of for entrepreneurial benefit. Part of an entrepreneurs day always involves research – browsing web sites, news sites, and potential competitive information. InstaPaper makes it possible to collect and organize important content for later review and sharing.
- Balanced Scorecard – an app that mimics the widely used strategic planning and management model of the same name to align business activities to the vision and strategy of the organization, improve internal and external communications, and monitor organizational performance against strategic goals. What impressed me the most about this app is its agility; it can seemingly be shaped to track and manage any type of strategic or tactical objectives and it can do this with elegant simplicity.
- Omnigraffle – an app that’s clearly on the pricey side, but it delivers key entrepreneurial features that no other apps provide. This app provides powerful visualization tools for describing ideas and processes. If you need to communicate new concepts visually, Omnigraffle provides the ability to craft your visions in the most favorable light, and you don’t need to be a design genius to use this tool.
- Strategic Planning for Everyone (bscipad.wordpress.com)
- BsC Featured in Balanced Scorecard Strategy Map Roundup (bscipad.wordpress.com)
- Using Balanced Scorecard with Other iPad Planning Apps (bscipad.wordpress.com)