Not many IT organizations are very good at it, but one of the things that IT organizations routinely forget to do is market the value of the IT department to the organization. Of course, that can be hard to do when dealing with staid ERP applications all day long, but there are classes of smaller departmental applications that can make a substantial difference in the lives of the average end user. The trouble is nobody in IT really has the time or inclination to develop them.
For that very reason, FileMaker, a unit of Apple, is upping its application game with the release today of 32-bit and 64-bit versions of its namesake database for developing applications for the Apple iPad, iPhone, Windows, Mac or the Web. FileMaker 12 now comes with a series of free customizable iPad and iPhone applications that are designed to handle routine tasks such as managing contacts, projects, digital content and inventory.
FileMaker may not be considered an enterprise-class database, but it is capable of powering any number of departmental applications that often get overlooked by IT. The good news is IT can decide if it wants to spare some time to roll out these applications or simply allow some IT-savvy end user to do it.
What matters at the end of the day is that given the fact that the Apple iPad and iPhone are the coolest platforms of the day, any IT department that is seen using them to deliver productivity applications is cool by association.
The good news is that most of these productivity applications are pretty useful and probably mean more to the end user than any given ERP function. That doesn't mean these applications are necessarily the most important to the business. But it does mean that from the perspective of the end user, they do represent a means through which the IT department might not be seen as a bunch of stiffs who are out of touch with tablet PCs and other forms of modern information technology.