It is no longer true to say Apple has no place in the enterprise. Apple solutions now enable out of the box productivity, according to enterprise management firm, JAMF Software.
What we want
The company's rabid focus on what end users need is transforming what employees and enterprises expect from technology. The role of IT support is transforming from policing what users do to helping users do what they want.
JAMF Software's Jason Wudi, says things have changed: "We've seen the Apple story change from one in which it is an outlier to one in which it is becoming a first class player."
Some critics argue against Apple deployment in enterprise infrastructure because the company doesn't offer technology road maps -- it changes things with little or not warning.
That's a problem, but JAMF Software helps bridge that gap: "We've only ever had to wait a few day to implement any changes in Apple technology in our solutions," he says. "We bridge the gap to make Apple solutions work with existing IT systems."
With over 4,000 enterprise customers worldwide (including 34 Fortune 100 companies), demand for Apple devices is driving demand for JAMF Software's solutions.
"Firms recruiting the brightest talent are learning these valuable recruits don't want to be handed some company laptop, they want an Apple product," says Wudi. And tech support can easily offer it -- employees don't even need to be aware their experience is being managed.
With Casper Suite, new employees can receive an Apple device and unbox it just like they would their own Apple product. The difference is that where Apple prompts for an Apple ID first time round, an enterprise can replace the prompt with an enterprise-centric log-in in iOS 7. The employee only needs to use this to get enterprise apps, VPN and email accounts.
What are the implications? The employee can get productive with their device immediately. "That solution doesn't exist anywhere else," says Wudi. "It's a platform advantage.
"What we add in Casper Suite is the ability to manage not just the device, but the user. You are able to target a user or a group of users and give that group access to apps, settings. We can withdraw those rights as a person's role changes.
"Enterprises can assign apps and licenses while retaining ownership," he says. "That's a change."
Security is always a worry in enterprise technology deployments, but Apple has advantages.
On the desktop, the big advantage the company has is full disk encryption. "This is built into the OS, it comes for the ride of endpoint management on Apple's platform." Enterprises get rock solid security as standard.
On mobile, Apple's advantage is that while competitors treat mobile as a commodity, favouring market share above a strong security commitment, "Apple is already the standard when you look at what (security) is already inside iOS," says Wudi. "People want personal as well as company security and what's inside iOS is better than anything else out there."
The new goal for technology deployment can be defined as user empowerment. That's got to deliver significant productivity gains.
That was certainly the impact when the Cranston jewelry chain adopted Apple devices for payments. Long one-hour waits to pay for products on Mothers Day shrank to under ten minutes, even as revenue doubled.
With maybe 8 percent of enterprise sales, Apple doesn't dominate the enterprise -- but the company's focus on end user need is setting the bar on what to expect.
Got a story? Drop me a line via Twitter or in comments below and let me know. I'd like it if you chose to follow me on Twitter so I can let you know when fresh items are published here first on Computerworld.