Prejudice keeps Apple Mac out of the enterprise

Apple Store“Apple Inc. is currently putting significant effort into gaining major penetration of the education market here in the UK, seeing it as obvious territory for its products. It has good case studies and reference sites, which testify to lower set-up and maintenance costs for deployments of Macs in schools. It provides training for teachers, and even has a section of its website dedicated to education (http://www.apple.com/uk/education). It is, however, finding it hard work because the big brands in UK education are RM (formerly known as Research Machines), which focuses on the education market, Cisco, which has its Networking Academy Program, and of course Microsoft,” Mike Davis writes for Enterprise Networks and Servers.

Davis writes, “Unfortunately, Apple is still perceived from its brand as ‘specialist IT’ and ‘consumerist.’ with its computers being favored by the media industry, and its impressive recent fortunes being delivered on the back of iPods and iTunes. This does not just apply in the education market but also in mainstream business, where I have often been told by Butler Group subscribers that they would not consider the 1u rack-mounted Xserve as a replacement for their Dell or IBM server, because Apple ‘are best at iPods and design’ and ‘are not a real computing company.’ Yes, it can be argued that Microsoft does well in both the business and consumer markets, but again, people buy an Xbox, not a Microsoft Xbox, and Microsoft software including Media Center is not deployed on Microsoft-branded hardware.”

“Brand is a lot more than a logo, as Apple Inc. knows from its recent challenge in court from Apple Corp. regarding the distribution of music through iTunes. The company [Apple] is going to have to do a lot more to change business and IT decision-makers’ perceptions of its position including, I believe, potentially having a different brand for ‘business’ products. For although I am listening to my iPod while I type, my Butler Group computer is an HP notebook running Microsoft Windows,” Davis writes.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: In February, Apple displaced Dell to take the #1 spot in the western Europe education market, with15.2% share and saw a similar increase in their UK education market share rising to 12.5%. So, whatever Apple is doing is obviously working better than Davis’ article would have readers believe.

To paraphrase our “Take” on this subject back in March: IT people have been given the role of “decision makers” when they should not have that power. If CEOs and upper management in many industries want the upper hand over their competitors, they’d be smart to stop being lazy, learn about technology, investigate the Mac’s advantages, take back their rightful decision-making power, and make the best technology decisions for their companies. Or hire people who are able and willing to do so. If it means they’ll have to reduce their IT departments because Macs are less prone to trouble, so be it.

Obviously, IT “pros” will not decide to move to the Mac platform if it means their staffing levels and power within the organization will be diminished. In our travels, we’ve found that the open-minded IT person, one who will seriously consider the Apple Mac option, is an extremely rare find. Apple will have an uphill battle breaking into corporate environments unless and until the decisions are made by people focused on benefits to the entire company, not by those who are choosing technology that helps bolster their own job security and power.

Related articles:
Macs vastly outnumber Windows PCs in Isle of Man schools – May 12, 2006
Apple Mac is #1 in European education market, pushes Dell down into second place – February 03, 2006
Apple takes No. 1 spot in western Europe education; next step: overcome corporate IT ‘mistrust’ – March 05, 2006
Defending Windows over Mac a sign of mental illness – December 20, 2003

40 Comments

  1. Wow.

    MDN.

    What the freak do you guys do for a living? Everything in every industry?

    Way to go on your observations. They are very keen.

    John Gee

    (not sarcastic)
    (very impressed lately with MDN comments)

  2. And the above article highlights why a Sun-Apple merger could work, because if Apple & Sun combined Apple would be taken more seriously in the enterprise.

    I’m not making a business case for the merger, because since I don’t know the numbers, I have no prediction as to whether it would work.

    But I’m quite sure that Wednesday Dvorak was spouting someone else’s reasonable speculation…

  3. the isle of man example says it all

    the whole computer system ( mac based ) handled by just a few guys

    if the education system in the uk went mac , all those wankers would lose their overpaid jobs , so of course they won’t let macs in

    a bit like the nhs computer fuck up

    it’s all back handers and corruption

  4. I think skill set is also part of the problem, as seifert alluded to. The vast majority of IT personnel have been educated on only Microsoft systems. (I’m a recent IT graduate, though I work in software development). This means they only know Microsoft, and not even UNIX, which would help ease the transition to Mac.

    It’s hard to recommend something you know nothing about, in addition to the economic reasons mentioned by MDN as well.

  5. My relative has recently started a medium-sized company selling his patented anti-phishing software for banks. He’s totally equipped his company with Macs for the simple reason that he doesn’t have to spend any of his time worrying about on-line security.

  6. shows how good windows is, he had to listen to his ipod, cause his hp couldnt play itunes as well word at the same time ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” /> lol

  7. It isn’t job security that has IT folks concerned; it has more to do with the notion of “asset inertia.” It means simply that since a massive investment has already been made in a certain infrastructure, it will take a very compelling rationale to change that infrastructure.

    Image: 10,000 PC’s in an organization, and someone comes along and says, “switch to Mac’s”. It isn’t going to happen, and it isn’t because people are arrogant or ignorant. The economics have to be there.

    That’s not to say Macs couldn’t be phased on over time. For example, many companies replace their PC’s every 3 years, meaning 1/3 are replaced each year. Some of these replacements could be Macs.

    But to an overworked IT staff, this is adding more work, not less, because they still have to support the older PC infrastructure; and there is natural resistance to this approach.

    Apple needs to promote itself as an IT company – that will help. The perception now is that it is a consumer-products company, and that doesn’t play so well in IT. Who will buy a server from a music store?

  8. In February, Apple displaced Dell to take the #1 spot in the western Europe education market, with15.2% share and saw a similar increase in their UK education market share rising to 12.5%. So, whatever Apple is doing is obviously working better than Davis’ article would have readers believe.

    Another fine example that journalists are, for the most part, ignorant of their subject and too lazy to learn enough about it, to write an accurate article.

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