Big Business Takes a [Small] Bite of the Apple

Yes, Apple products are making their way into corporate America. But the numbers are still relatively small.

1 2 3 4 5 6 Page 5
Page 5 of 6

Apple also lacks a corporate account model that enterprise customers can use to centrally manage the acquisition of software from its App Store. Instead, each purchase is tied to an iTunes account, which in turn is tied to an individual and that person's email address, rather than to a role or physical device.

"The enterprise has fundamental issues here. You don't want to have an individual account per device for the licensing and management of apps," says Mark White, CTO of Deloitte Consulting's technology practice.

But for now, that's exactly what many businesses do.

Other businesses have negotiated directly with software vendors, bypassing the iTunes store. "It's not a generally solved problem yet," says White -- for any of the mobile vendors.

Enterprise-class security is another concern. At St. Luke's, protecting data on iOS devices is a big issue. Kamer says the iPad doesn't natively support the FIPS 140-2 encryption standard, so he has to work around that. "That's one reason why we don't allow them on our internal network," he says.

Management Tools: A Big Obstacle

Unlike Microsoft, Apple doesn't offer a suite of management tools for its products, relying instead on third-party vendors and integrators to pull together a framework for securing and managing Apple devices at the enterprise level.

"Many of the Mac-based tools are built by small or lesser-known third-party ISVs, and many of those are smaller, point-type solutions, which may not scale in an enterprise setting," says ITIC analyst DiDio.

DiDio calls the management tools issue "the biggest impediment to deploying Macs en masse in the enterprise."

And she's not the only one who thinks so. "The tools for managing a large population of Macs are hard to come by. That's the truth," says a Fortune 100 IT executive who declined to be named but says he has examined the options.

Such sentiments are what convinced Mac software vendors to form the Enterprise Desktop Alliance a few years ago. "There are good tools available for integrating Macs into enterprises standardized on Windows," argues EDA President Reid Lewis. The challenge is to educate IT managers on what's available, he says.

Deloitte's White says it isn't a question of whether you can integrate Macs but how much work it takes to get the job done: "In a large enterprise, at scale, can you get the job done? Yes. Can I do it without a lot of additional skills, capabilities and tools? No." Expect more integration work with Macs, he says.

1 2 3 4 5 6 Page 5
Page 5 of 6
Bing’s AI chatbot came to work for me. I had to fire it.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon