Apple wins the battle for enterprise hearts and minds

When given the choice more employees choose Apple than ever before

When IDC and Gartner tell us PC sales are slumping while Apple’s remain steady you know something’s changed. They’ve changed dramatically, according to the latest data from JAMF Software’s latest survey, which shows that 75 percent of employees will choose a Mac if they get the opportunity to choose.

Platform of choice

Apple is now the platform of choice across the enterprise. It’s a pattern that’s consistent with last year’s 2015 Apple Trends Survey that revealed a similar transformation in the AAPL enterprise place.

A few highlights from the report (available here):

  • 75 percent choose Mac over PC, with “ease of use” cited as the top reason for this choice (43 percent)
  • 79 percent choose iOS as their mobile device operating system of choice, with “ease of use” cited as the top reason (41 percent)

Times change

Some argue that offering employees the choice of which platform to use is unnecessary, insisting workers will do as they are told. This authoritarian position is utterly irrelevant to the needs and expectations of today’s incoming workers (so-called Millennials). A PwC report confirms millennials, “expect the technologies that empower their personal lives to also drive communication and innovation in the workplace.”

They are digital natives who already know which technologies are the best available, and they expect the tech they use at work to match the expectation of tech used at home. They want Apple kit.

“Employees between the ages of 18 and 54 overwhelmingly choose Mac,” JAMF Software reports – a broad reflection of the PwC conclusions. “While those 55 and over are more comfortable using PCs.”

Digital transformation

It’s a digital transformation best evidenced by the productivity gains and popularity of BYOD in enterprises offering it. “70 percent of those who currently lack user choice say their organization should give them the right to choose the device that best empowers them to do their job,” says the JAMF Software report, which also reveals that 72 percent of employees getting to choose the devices they want to use are more productive.

“Offering Mac is key for any modern enterprise,” Thomas Saueressig, SVP, Global Head of IT Services, SAP recently said.

“Employees today not only want–but expect–the ability to choose the devices they are most comfortable with for work,” said Dean Hager, CEO, JAMF Software. “When employers combine the freedom of choice with Apple, employees are happier and are empowered to be more productive–offering a huge business advantage.”

It’s an Apple business

When it comes to smartphones in the enterprise, Apple also appears to have a useful advantage at this stage of the digital transformation of industry. “When given a mobile device choice, nearly 80 percent of all age groups select iOS compared to just 18 percent who choose Android,” JAMF Software explains.

This is yet more evidence of change in the manner in which Apple plays in the enterprise and it follows a sequence of events in the last couple of years during which the company has embraced the sector, even as the sector embraces it.

Enterprise IT upgrades need Apple inside

Lack of software compatibility; the need to support legacy technologies; and a perception that Macs are more expensive than PCs have traditionally slowed adoption of Apple’s solutions by enterprise users. This is changing. Not only is much of enterprise infrastructure migrating to support mobile platforms, particularly iPhone and the powerful iPad Pro, but as this migration takes place legacy systems are being slowly mothballed.

Not only this, but software is becoming platform independent as cloud services adoption grows, which is also driving significant evolution in Apple’s business.

Perception that Macs are too expensive was recently utterly denied by IBM’s Fletcher Previn who said. “Every Mac that we buy is making and saving money,” (approximately $270 savings per unit).

The result? As of Apple’s September fiscal call the value of its enterprise business stood at $25 billion even as its business improves.

For enterprise IT, of course, there’s only one clear conclusion: As core infrastructure is replaced it is important to ensure OS X and iOS support are baked inside new software, technology and more. Because in future the enterprise will have Apple inside – as will Cisco.

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Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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