The Rise of the iPad in the Boardroom Feeds an Enterprise Approach

by Matt Ball on April 19, 2011

Corporate executives love the iPad for its ease of use, visual display, and always-on connectivity that helps feed their roles as information filters and vision brokers. The elevated status of this device in the corporate world has in turn led to new ways of presenting and condensing enterprise systems, often within a geospatial context. This trend was the subject of many discussions at the recent GITA event, where GIS managers were looking for new ways to mash up their data for quick consumption, and vendors were speaking about their tools to make this process easy and seamless.

I discussed this trend toward greater mobility with Intergraph, and they indicated that they have developed several custom iPad applications as corporate dashboards to condense enterprise information. The company has extended their Outage Management System Web Portal to devices including Smartphones and the Apple iPad, and will cover this in presentations at the upcoming Hexagon Conference.

Esri is out in front with this trend, with their expansion of their mobile GIS platform to support Apple iOS, the operating system for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The new ArcGIS for iOS includes both a free downloadable application from Apple’s App Store and an API for developers to build custom mapping solutions. Developers are taking advantage of these tools to create custom enterprise applications as well as consumer-oriented apps for broader audiences.

With the growing need to condense and present more information in a geospatial context, there is an increasing need for systems to be flexible with how they syndicate geospatial information, and how they combine with other enterprise systems. With this trend, the gap is growing between companies that take an enterprise GIS approach and those that simply take a GIS system approach. As the momentum for more nimble presentation of information increases, it will foster a new wave of geospatial enterprise investments.


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