Over the many years that PCs have been a key part of the IT infrastructure, most organizations have written their own application software to run on Windows and PCs. This is very common in the larger enterprises, and a surprising number of SMBs have custom versions of existing application platforms like Office or SQL Server that they run on Windows. As would be expected, many of the end users now want to run these applications on tablets.
However the cost and difficulty of porting, testing, and deploying in-house developed apps on iOS or Android is difficult to undertake in today’s real world of limited IT budget and staff. In many cases the staff that wrote the application has long since departed making the porting project that much more difficult. This is where the new generation of Windows 8 tablets can provide a solution that doesn’t entail major re-writes and re-hosting of the software.
Of course there are a few caveats that have to be considered moving forward with deploying your in-house applications on Windows 8 tablets.
Windows 8 RT
First, the Windows 8 RT version for ARM processors may not be as full featured and depending on how your application was written and with what tools, there could be some hiccups.
A second point that should receive some testing scrutiny is how your in-house application works potentially without a keyboard and mouse. Most Windows 8 tablets will have these accessories, but in use cases where they aren’t present, is the application still useful? That needs to be checked out. And I’m not making the case that migrating in-house applications to Windows 8 tablets will be pain free, by staying within the same basic platform, the migration will certainly be “pain-reduced”.
Another important point to consider is that finding technical talent that understands the Windows to Windows migration for your in-house developed applications will be far easier and may even exist within current IT staff.
Despite these few issues, the ability to support tablet usage for key applications that have been developed internally with relatively little pain and cost provides a great roadmap for IT organizations. Windows 8 tablets, such as those coming from high quality vendors like Lenovo, will usher in a continuing boom in business usage of tablet devices.
If you'd like some help understanding how your organization can take advantage of business-focused mobility technology from a broad industry perspective, read our quick eBrief. Find out how the problems associated with mobility — access, connection quality, and security — have essentially been solved through new application development, embedded broadband, and cloud computing.