The iPhone halo means Macs are becoming an even stronger choice for the enterprise
Be the change
Improved integration between Apple’s iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan will inevitably drive more Macs into the enterprise.
"Apple's dominance in enterprise mobility is unparalleled," says Box CEO Aaron Levie. Apple's devices are already the most popular mobile platforms across the enterprise, but Mac sales have climbed while the PC industry contracts for a decade, so an enterprise migration seems inevitable.
"Mac, iPhone and iPad adoption rates are only continuing to grow in the enterprise," said JAMF Software CTO, Jason Wudi, speaking to Appleholic. "As more employees demand to use devices that they are comfortable with in their personal lives, we are seeing more IT departments offering choice and BYO programs."
An April 2015 JAMF Software/Dimensional Data survey of enterprise users in the US found over 90% of businesses use Apple products, with 91% supporting iPhones, 89% supporting iPads and 60% supporting Macs.
Enterprises are migrating to Apple because its platforms are best prepared for the digital transformation that is impacting daily life. It's not just about ease of use but also the security these platforms offer in comparison to their competitors.
No enterprise user wants the confidential information held on their intranet or cloud-based database to be too easy to hack by criminals, competitors of government spooks. For enterprises, security isn't just a luxury, it's a necessity.
"The transformation has been happening, and will continue to happen for some time as the market evolves how it views and uses technology to deliver on organizational initiatives, and we see it continuing to happen industry by industry," says Wudi.
Apple partners are focused on supporting this transformation with numerous enterprise vendors delivering solutions for enterprise users – and where iOS walks the Mac will follow.
"We believe Apple is out front driving, and enabling, change. As demand to use Apple devices continues to rise, we see more organizations planning for initiatives to support employees globally," Wudi explains.
Another Apple partner, Replicon, tells me: "Apple's strong position in enterprise mobility aligns with our mobile-first strategy and goals to develop an ecosystem that continues to transform the way that people interact with their customers, partners and peers," said Raj Narayanaswamy, co-founder and co-CEO.
"Our emphasis on delivering iOS-based business applications will give customers the tools to capture, manage and optimize how they spend their time, to drive significant value to the organization."
Apple's commitment to this new market is evidenced by its deal with IBM and its more recent arrangement with Cisco. The latter arrangement isn't just about improving collaboration on iOS devices, but will also give Apple solutions much-improved support on Cisco-based networks. The iOS user experience will improve and the enterprise compatibility become even better.
However, despite the focus on iOS, the move to Mac is also taking place. Take Citrix another big firm looking to improve its iOS offering. In a recent software update the company redesigned its GoToMeeting app for iOS, introducing Continuity/Handoff support. The latter means you can take a meeting on your iPhone and switch to your Mac when you get back to the office.
There's an opportunity. Tech Pro Research analyst, Jordan Golson observes: "Apple accounts for less than 20 percent of the hardware budget at two-thirds of companies surveyed… while nearly all companies using Apple products are using its iPhone and iPad portable devices, the pricier Mac is still far behind in adoption."
Apple's UI improvements in iOS 9 and OS X will enable iOS users to easily migrate to the Mac, making the platform even more attractive.
It's not possible to predict how successful Apple will be in this new market, but with a ten-year history of Mac market growth there's no reason to deny the impact of the iPhone halo. Why would the enterprise be immune?