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Don't be afraid of using consumer apps for your business

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  • 1. Dont Be Afraid of Using Consumer Apps for Your BusinessCorporate productivity applications are critical to businesses. Many --particularly web-based programs that can be accessed from anywhere -- allowusers to increase productivity both at home and in the office. Large companieswith a dedicated IT staff depend on enterprise-level software that addssophisticated tools and functionality. This level of complexity is oftennecessary as businesses expand and take on increasingly diverse projects. Butnot all companies are mammoth and have a need for complex and expensiveenterprise apps. For small businesses, consumer apps can provide bigbenefits, often for a low price or even free.Take, for instance, the new web application ifttt. This fascinating programallows you to create “tasks” that operate between most popular networks. Itlets users upload tasks as “recipes” so that other users can download and usethem. What’s interesting is that the tasks take the form of a logical argumentstructured as “if this, then this.” So, for example, you can structure a task toautomatically send an email when you post onTwitter by inputting, “if I poston Twitter, then send an email to my Gmail address.” This is obviously asimple task, but the power of the application is strong. You can automate amajority of online activities so that much of your behind the scenes activitiesare taken care of. This can alleviate the need for an assistant and free yourtime to spend on more important activities.An extremely useful tool, especially for business owners who need tomultitask (read: all of them) is AirDisplay. Now, be forewarned that you needan iPad to use the application, but if you already have one then you are goodto go. AirDisplay lets you use your iPad as a second monitor. Anytime youneed to keep an eye on more than one web application, easily viewinformation online while writing a report, or keep a webinar open while doingother things, this app is invaluable. Yes, it is possible to achieve the sameresults with an actual second monitor, but the beauty of AirDisplay lies in itsportability and ease of use. After a quick initial setup, it takes just seconds toconnect the iPad to a computer. For small businesses that require portability,this app lets you use a dual screen setup in just about any environment.Slice provides a simple way to track anything you have ordered online in oneeasy interface. Having all of your tracking information in one place can be agodsend, particularly with everything else you have going on. Whether it is
  • 2. office supplies, computer hardware, or any of the other purchases necessaryto make a business run, Slice can help make sure you know where it is andwhen it is going to arrive. Particularly when dealing with time-sensitiveprojects, this information can prove vital, especially if a shipping delay servesas a bottleneck. With this app, you know these issues early and can planaccordingly. Slice is currently available to Android users.Obviously, these represent a small sampling of the applications that can giveany business owner a leg up. Yet, they serve to illustrate a point: individualscan increase productivity while decreasing costs using applications like these.Rather than shy away from consumer apps, businesses should see how theycan leverage them to provide benefit in the workplace. For small businesses,every penny counts, and choices like these may represent the differencebetween massive cost-sinks and ingenious savings that can improve yourbottom line. Just something to consider while you peruse the app store onyour break.Reference Link: http://blogs.cio.com/consumer-it/17026/dont-be-afraid-using-consumer-apps-your-business

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