Apple gains traction as enterprise workplaces become hybrid

Research data shows that hybrid work has propelled Apple device use across the enterprise, with the cost-of-ownership argument cutting through.

Apple, enterprise, Mac, MacBook, iPhone, employee choice, hybrid working

Fresh research once again shows the extent to which the move to hybrid working has boosted Apple adoption across the enterprise, proving that employees will opt for systems from the company when they can.

Given choice, most employees use Apple

The research was made available by Kandji, one of a growing number of companies now offering device management of Apple hardware to enterprise clients. The data is based on a global survey of 300 IT decision makers conducted by Dimensional Research and confirms Apple’s grasp on many enterprise hearts and minds.

”When given the choice, most employees choose to use Apple devices at work,” said Adam Pettit, founder and CEO of Kandji. “By April 2020, 70% of the workplace reported that they worked from home — an all-time high. Personal and professional work environments became one in the same, increasing desire for the familiar Apple experience in both settings. Demand for Apple devices at work will continue to escalate, as the remote workplace becomes the standard.” 

Among other findings, Kandji’s research shows 70% of companies more than doubled the number of remote or hybrid workers in the past two years, while 76% of respondents reported employee use of Apple devices also increased. 

Keep people happy, or lose them

Macs are the biggest beneficiary of this. Earlier this year, we learned Apple’s Mac sales now account for 23% of enterprise PC sales, while last week we heard that employees are prepared to join the Great Resignation and quit their job if they can’t use their choice of platform.

In 2019, IBM also shared its own internal data. Pointing to clear productivity and cost benefits from use of Apple kit, IBM CIO Fletcher Previn said:

“Now, I don’t know if better employees want Macs, or giving Macs to employees makes them better. You got to be careful about cause and effect — but there seems to be a lot of corroborating evidence that says you want to have a choice program. And with that, thank you very much.”

Kandji now claims Mac notebook use across the enterprise climbed 63% with more than half (53%) of IT decision makers surveyed saying requests for Apple devices have increased in the past two years. This increase is far greater for Apple (42%) than any other device (11%).

iPhones use climbed 38%, iPad use was up 35% and Mac desktop deployment also climbed, this time by 22% over the last two years.

Apple seems to be proving its own case, given that 85% of IT pros surveyed say they “would recommend Apple devices for professional use to a colleague or peer.”

Confidence in Apple is increasing

The thing is, while in recent years the trend among enterprise employees to pick Apple devices when they get the chance has become increasingly clear, this rapid proliferation has given employees the best insight yet into how well Macs and other Apple systems perform in business.

The result? Confidence in Apple devices in comparison with other options has increased.

Fifty-four percent of those managing the devices reported they are more confident in the ability to deal with Apple devices than those who manage Windows devices. The feedback says 56% are more confident in the ability to remotely manage Apple devices versus Windows (37% more confident).

When it comes to the platform wars, 48% said Apple devices are advantageous for hybrid workers compared to Windows/Android.

Apple is also winning the TCO argument

There has been a long-running argument around cost. The traditional view is that Apple’s equipment is more expensive to purchase, while the rebuttal is that these investments hold their value longer, last longer and cost much less in terms of tech support.

The latter arguments are quite clearly winning the mind wars: 75% of respondents say that while Apple devices are initially more expensive to buy, they are less expensive to maintain and support in the long run. In addition, 84% said Apple devices are more secure than devices from other vendors.

“The data indicates that Apple devices are a great fit for hybrid work environments,” said Pettit. “If this is any indication of the future growth of Apple in the enterprise, we have much to look forward to in the modern workplace.” 

All (100%) of those companies that have moved to support a hybrid workforce say their company benefits from having a hybrid workforce, and 97% agree that hybrid workforce is here to stay. 

What are the benefits of a hybrid workforce?

While the biggest benefit across the last couple of years has been the ability to maintain business activity during Covid-19, other benefits include the ability to draw talent from a wider geographic pool, better recruitment and retention, the ability to boost diversity, increased productivity, and reduced costs.

Interestingly, 28% of companies believe online meeting dynamics are more amenable to traditionally disadvantaged workers and 24% believe hybrid improves corporate culture.

The biggest challenges? Many managers struggle with the cultural shift and in finding ways to evaluate employee productivity remotely. (Also read: 3 ways to build stronger remote teams.)

However, the consensus is that the good outweighs the bad — 85% of companies surveyed say it is good for business and in the vast majority of cases believe this new work model is here to stay, as suggested earlier this year in a Dice survey.

You can download your own copy of the Kandji report here.

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Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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