The IT upgrade cycle has never looked better for Apple

How many will upgrade Windows XP to Apple anything?

Apple, iOS, iPhone, Mac, enterprise IT, Windows XP, Gartner

We saw a whole bunch of nothing written about so-called ‘weak’ Mac sales this week, but those twisted out of context numbers didn’t reflect how the real world works – and Apple’s big business bid is only now beginning.

Windows XP and the PC replacement cycle

You’d be surprised how many of the computers out there still run Windows XP. In some cases, this reflects the defund and privatize ethic beloved of some state functionaries, in others those systems are mandatory in order to support some legacy back end system the golf-loving C-suite classes haven’t yet been convinced to invest and replace.

However, recent massive malware attacks mean the message is finally getting through – it really is time to upgrade your legacy equipment, if you care about your business.

The good thing is that this time round you have lots of choice: computers, smartphones, tablets –you don’t need to get another PC to replace a PC. You can get another iPhone for your business, some more iPads, perhaps a few Macs… “Apple is pervasive in the enterprise,” said IBM recently.

Recent PC sales figures from Gartner and IDC suggest at least some of the big box shifters who once spun gold on the back of enterprise IT PC sales aren’t doing well today. That’s such an opportunity for a tech firm with a secure platform proposal and an ecosystem that’s significantly cheaper to deploy than Windows.

Look at it this way

A recent Gartner report predicts that global IT spend will reach $3.5 trillion in 2017. That’s a huge-big-massive number, but it spans so many categories: enterprise hardware, software services and telecoms.

So, what about device spending? Gartner reckons we’ll see a 1.7 percent increase in IT spending on PCs, tablets, mobile phones and phablets this year.

Who has the advantage in its bid for these new dollars? Many enterprise CIOs are oftentimes more clued-up than their tech support departments, and the trend across the Fortune 500 in recent years favors a good look at Apple.

Why not?

Not only do Apple’s devices deliver those platform integration advantages I mentioned above, and not only are they cheaper to run, but the company has a consistent track record for timely software and security patches, along with customer satisfaction levels that show people who use its solutions also engage with those solutions. (An astonishing 86 percent of iOS users are on the current version of the OS).

That level of engagement makes Apple’s toys into great tools for enterprises seeking to engage their workforces in the digital transformation of their business. Particularly those firms that need a mobile component and need to prioritize security. There is no point building your future business around solutions which are vulnerable to hacks and attacks, particularly if your employees don’t actually enjoy using those technologies.

Fragmentation is risk.

Feet in the future

When it comes to future tech, Apple has a story to tell there, too – just look at ARKit.

You’d have to be pretty obstinate not to recognize the huge business opportunity that may be locked inside AR for many enterprises, and with billions of compatible devices from the get-go, I can’t help but think enterprise users will be really, really curious to see what these solutions can do.

After all, the iPhone-driven BYOD wave showed us that all the old rules have changed. They now know what Apple can do for their business.

What to look for

I’ve been writing about Apple’s changing place in enterprise IT for such a long time. At this stage, I just have to hope my message is cutting through. As I see it, when you weigh up all its platform, security and other advantages, Apple is up there in the cat bird seat to grab some of this year’s device spending budget from enterprise IT. And with partners like IBM, Deloitte, Dimension, Cisco, JAMF, and even Microsoft to evangelize that decision, I’m in little doubt we’re going to hear whispers of even more big enterprise deployments pretty soon, possibly during Apple’s financial results call on August 1. No wonder Cisco’s CEO is “really excited” at the Apple partnership.

The (old) order is rapidly fading, and the first one now will later be last, for the times they are a-changing.” (Dylan).

Goodbye and farewell Windows XP. I never knew ya. I was upgrading to OS X ‘Puma’ when you shipped. I never looked back. Did you?

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