CIO: Apple’s enterprise credentials continue to grow

cio apple enteprrise

Available for iOS platforms including Apple Watch, Avaamo provides secure messaging for enterprise deployments. Take a look at 11 Must-have Apple Watch Apps for more great apps.

Apple CEO, Tim Cook, isn’t just talking the talk when it comes to enterprise sales, his company continues to deliver...

Apple’s Device Enrolment Program (DEP) is a cornerstone solution for any enterprise CIO. “We can take a brand new device out of the box, go through the setup assistant and have it enrol with the management service without any technical input,” explains Apple Authorised Service Provider, Amsys.

All aboard

New iOS devices running the Apple setup assistant will contact Apple to see if there is a DEP registration for their serial number. If one exists they are sent details of the enterprise-specified MDM (Mobile Device Management) service and enrolled onto the system, the Casper Suite from JAMF Software, for example.

The system means tech support can easily add Macs, set security policy and enjoy close integration between systems and MDM software, as described here.

Apple’s steady addition of such enterprise-friendly features is deepening its pitch for the enterprise. Enterprise IT already supports millions of iOS devices due to the BYOD trend. That BYOD trend is also driving a move to BYO apps and (soon) BYO devices, principally Apple Watch.

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A screen from Apple's DEP set-up process

Engage me

That enterprise employees demand software as engaging and easy to use at work as they have at home is a bit of a nightmare for security policy, but it’s an opportunity, too. Enterprise mobile messaging leader Avaamo was one of the first secure business messaging apps approved by Apple and developed specifically from the ground up for the Apple Watch.

Ram Menon, CEO of Avaamo explains: “Apple has done a great job in focusing on making its products the best for enterprise citizens possible -- through built-in functionality or through support for third-party vendors. It was a shrewd strategy and it allowed Apple to focus on business users directly who also tend to be consumers when they leave the office and would prefer to stick to their IPhone and iPad for both work and leisure.”

The traditional division between home and enterprise computing is disappearing. Apple is building share in the new IT environment - Mac sales are booming even as PC industry growth remains constrained.

cio apples enterprise credentials continue to grow

That’s not to say traditional enterprise IT providers aren’t at the iOS and Apple Watch party -- Microsoft offers PowerPoint and OneDrive, Cisco provides WebEx – you don’t need to dig too deep to find more.

Opportunity

Apple’s proposition is highly integrated around the company’s command of hardware and software, offering big opportunity for Unified Communications (UC) vendors such as Menon.

“For too long UC in the enterprise has been seen as a legacy play on how to get voice/meetings and IM into single monolithic application which will run on a proprietary desktop client.  From MSFT Lync to Cisco Video Conferencing. This complex mix of hardware/expensive proprietary software and a burgeoning interoperability market has … frustrated enterprise users,” he says.

Mobile is changing everything. Enterprise employees will use consumer apps even without permission – it makes sense for enterprises to deploy secure alternatives that match employee demand for ease-of-use.

Of course, mobile isn’t just about replacing conventional IT – digital business processes are driving innovation in other sectors. These mobile-first employees (from delivery drivers to oil & gas workers and beyond) do not use conventional PCs in their daily tasks, but will be using iPads, iPhones.

The new workspace

The Apple/IBM alliance is delivering new tools for this new workforce, which comprised around 1.3 billion (37%) of the global workforce in 2015, claims Menon

“This frontier is truly global with largest percentage being in Asia, where mobile first is already the default as opposed to a ‘choice’," he explains.

This is not particularly new, of course – there has been huge activity toward the development of the new digital workspace, but what Apple has accomplished (right under everybody’s nose) is to deliver a matrix of solutions alongside an actively engaged user base. It has built the platforms, solutions and the need.

Today its products are an essential element to the digital transformation of enterprise IT, across all key platforms: on your desk, on the train, in your pocket and on your wrist. Some tech industry pundits may dare to disagree – but they need to get over their prejudice, look to Apple’s growing marketshare and open themselves up to the potential of this multi-platform, multi-device opportunity.

Apple may even have planned it this way.

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