It struck me when I attended a meeting recently just how important iPads have become to business in such a short time.  Not that I didn’t know this already, the kyloud team have been active iPad developers and users for such a long time that we can’t remember what we ever did without them but in much the same way mobile phones revolutionised how we communicate, iPads or tablet computers have a greater far-reaching potential to change not only the way we do businesses but the very basics of traditional business skills.

In the aforementioned business meeting, before I’d even taken a pen from my pocket, the familiar ‘switch’ sound of the ipad swipe was echoing around the room.  This wasn’t just showing off (although the standard iPad/smartphone cover admiration conversation is very slowly starting to resemble the business card comparison scene in American Psycho) but iPads are starting to become a necessary fixture of daily business life.

In my mind, there are three key benefits to using an iPad for business

  • Offers functional mobile computing with the ease of a smartphone
  • Supports the cloud computing model to access  all information, in any location
  • They look innovative and forward-thinking to current and potential clients

It’s not just the look, feel and functionality that has been key to the success of the iPad as a business tool but rather the growing number of complimentary apps available.  Apps started out life as mini-websites and fun games but have evolved into a platform to deliver something much more exciting.  We have apps which can tell us where the nearest taxi is, what our bank balance is, how to roast a chicken and even what the weather will be.  They may be all lifestyle-related examples but just as we’ve come to hear the term ‘there’s an app for that…’ in everyday life, apps are also slowly changing the framework of many business models with their on-the-go ability to support information-gathering and data collection.  Estate agency is just one business in which iPads have now become a fundamental part of daily business.  Want to list your house for sale?  An estate agent can come round, take pictures, write a description and have your property marketed online before they even leave your house thanks to the functions of the iPad but crucially also, the ability to find data immediately on house prices in the area to inform a price valuation. In asset management, surveyors turn up on site with the kykloud app alongside complimentary apps for marking up drawings, schedules or records and taking very precise measurements.

Kykloud of course recognised the move towards business use of the iPad early and the condition survey app is one of our key innovations to support the main lifecycle asset management SaaS software .  The kykloud app is essentially what we term disruptive technology in that it has the power to completely change the way an industry works forever, in this case the building surveying industry.  The disruption itself is a positive one but like the iPad, it will take time for people to understand the value of this kind of service as the condition surveying app removes entirely the need for the traditional pen, paper and camera route to create on-site surveys.  Apps are evolutionary in their design, in our case the kykloud app started as a building surveying tool and now has moved to smart whole scale asset data collection.

In an industry that’s not seen a great deal of technological innovation to improve business practices, kykloud has created a ‘game-changer’ solution to drive efficiencies in the field.  In fact, the app is so efficient that current clients are reporting it allows building surveys to be completed in 50% less time than the traditional method.  This alone has far-reaching possibilities, not least better price competitiveness for tenders, higher profits and the opportunity to double output without increasing staff.

Well-designed apps are not just for fun, they can have a measurable and positive impact on a business and as the kykloud app is proving, a whole industry.   Technology moves fast but in the two short years since the launch of the iPad, it is becoming an intrinsic part of daily business life.

Who knows what kind of innovation iPads will bring to business in the next two years?