Apple prepares for major enterprise push by making Macs, iPhones, iPads easier for IT to support

“Steve Jobs was notoriously ambivalent, and often outwardly hostile, to the idea of marketing Apple products to the enterprise,” Bill Detwiler reports for ZDNet. “In 2010, he told Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher (then with The Wall Street Journal) that what he hated about the enterprise market was the fact that ‘the people that use the products don’t decide for themselves, and the people that make those decisions sometimes are confused.'”

MacDailyNews Take: The IT Doofuses. All “Microsoft Certified” out the ying-yang, of course.

“Five years later, and a lot has changed. CEO Tim Cook, Jobs’s successor, has embraced the enterprise market,” Detwiler reports. “Cook said the company has a good foundation to work from: ‘The arc is longer than in consumer, which can immediately go out and buy things, etcetera. And I think we’ve done a lot of the groundwork as you can tell from these numbers that I’ve given you, and I would expect that it would have more and more payback in the future.’ Indeed, thanks to the groundwork Cook mentioned, Apple has positioned itself to take a serious chunk of the enterprise hardware and software market, which has been long dominated by companies such as Microsoft, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Dell.”

Here are five things that Apple has done to make it easier for enterprise IT to support, and even prefer their products.
1. Apple makes products people want to use
2. Macs and Windows machines now play nice
3. Software is less os-specific
4. Enterprise-class device management tools
5. Apple Retail Stores: Apple’s secret weapon in their enterprise campaign

Tons more in the full article – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: Our run-ins at various companies with IT doofuses who were throwing up roadblocks in order to blindly protect their turf to the severe detriment of their companies and fellow employees brings back a tangible reminder of the frustration we faced.

Imagine how Jobs and Apple executives felt.

Finally, the world has woken up. The Dark Ages of Personal Computing are over!


  1. 4. Enterprise-class device management tools

    Unless they release something at WWDC, their management tools are not enterprise class. I love Apple, but managing their devices in large scale scenarios is a joke.

      1. The reality is that in larger companies, with typically several hundred machines to support, there has to be a mechanism in place to monitor when a machine was purchased, who is using it, whether it is sufficiently protected against unauthorized access, making sure software updates are applied and data is backed up. An IT tech can’t visit every machine personally.

      2. Most large enterprises deal with large amounts of customer data which has to be protected. This means the desktop computers and mobile devices connecting to corporate networks have to be secure. Password policies have to be enforced, malware, spyware and viruses have to be blocked, access to file servers and email has to be secure. OSes have to be patched. When you have hundreds of users this all has to be “managed”. Multiple OS platforms make this more complicated. And Apple has neglected this. Or maybe a better way to say it is that Apple has chosen to instead focus on the consumer market, where they’ve done an excellent job.

    1. I have one word for you. Casper.
      Imaging, Deploying, Managing, and Inventorying (Is that a word?) 10s, or 100s, or 1000s of Macs in the enterprise is a piece of cake. I do it every day of my life.

    2. Enterprise device management is exactly the reason why my employer (a public agency) is choosing to roll out MS kickstands and is keeping blackberries for our phones/email. Horrendous choices for the end user of course who have been clamoring for iPhones and iPads (which have been piloted). In the end, device management and the ability to control or turn things on/off is what it came down to according to our IT folks. Cringeworthy, but *maybe* they have an argument. I’m not an IT guy, but I do wish Apple would actively address this if indeed it is a shortcoming arising from their historical consumer focus. I want to use the worlds best devices everywhere, not just in my home. I would buy my own work computer if they’d let me just to use a Mac.

  2. Jobs comment was absolutely correct about people using the stuff don’t have a say in what is purchased.

    My company is jamming in Oracle ERP even though the users recommended a much lower cost and easier to use system.

  3. Meetings in my hospital were always interesting . All of the doctors sported iPhones and Mac laptops which were used exclusively in their own practices because the hospital would only support PC’s. The average network computer in the hospital could be purchased for $500 while the hospital paid $3500 for them which included a “service contract”.
    Need I say more .

    1. Our McKesson Technologist Workstations (Radiology) are HP workstation grade Xeon devices running DICOM PACS software that could easily be handled by a Mac mini. Cannot even imagine how much markup goes in on every unit.

  4. Corporate IT has a well-established culture that is rooted in the Windows mindset – heavy into control and user restrictions, and terrified of allowing users to tweak anything.

    Traditionally, Mac-centric departments have handled their own IT (up to the point of accessing non-Mac servers). Users are used to having more control of their machines and, frankly, it is harder for a user to mess things up than with a Windows machine.

    I spent years in a creative department where we ran our own Mac server. Then we upgraded to an Xserve. The IT guys, (who had been going nuts for years about not being allowed to be in charge of all computers) took this opportunity to take over. They had zero experience with Macs and with Mac servers, but our new server was placed in their inner sanctum and far away from anyone who had experience with Mac servers. They also spun their BS about security and took over our workstations. If we had an issue with an app that could be fixed in seconds by trashing a prefs file, we had to wait for hours for a PC IT guy to show up and then we had to show the guy how to do it (!).

    The issue about overcoming a paranoid IT culture can only happen when company leadership accepts the fact that Mac users are ridiculously more familiar with their machines, their OS and troubleshooting than a good 99.5% of PC users, and that they can be trusted in their expertise. If needed, they should pay for one of the Mac guys to be Apple certified. Then they can keep the dobermans on the chain and treat the Mac pros like equal citizens.

    There was another company where the IT guys were held at bay until I left. Within three months they had confiscated all the Macs in the creative department and forced workers to switch over. Naturally, within a year, every one of the five-person design team quit.

    1. Your experience is what I fear from an “enterprise” focus. Currently Apple focuses almost entirely on the individual consumers. I like that.

      But with huge blocks of users under corporate control, it is easy to see a thousand companies purchasing 1000+ computers each – swaying the direction of R&R and development – over and against millions of individual users and needs.

      Kind of like health insurance: A company with100,000 workers can get huge concessions, but 5 million individuals can’t get any discounts or concessions!

    2. Oh man do I recognise this story. Once IT got in at my dept they unleashed all their windows protocols, procedures and trickery on our Mac environment, bringing it to a complete and grinding halt. As nobody could do any work anymore, they had to roll-back the lot. Egg-in-face situation. The thing IT seem to have learned is to let the Macs be run the department, for the moment anyway. But it doesn’t sit well of course.

      The Windows world as I see it is one of atrocious interfaces and endless tinkering by IT to get things working and making sure changing direction away from MS is as difficult and expensive as possible. Because IT knows that running a Mac environment is a lot cheaper than a Windows environment and they would get a lot less funding and personnel and thus less power in the organisation.

      But I know virtually nobody who really *wants* Windows, not even among the IT people themselves. So Win-IT has the tide against them and it swipe them out to sea eventually. It may still take some time, but I think it’s inevitable.

  5. I think the IBM Moble First partnership is going to put Apple in enterprise, and soon. Even though it’s iOS centric you need a Mac to run a group of iOS devices. IBM gives Apple what it is missing in enterprise, especially sales and support. Apple gives IBM the hardware it needs to take on MS and Samsung and be the replacement for Blackberry. Soon IT will have to start taking Apple seriously. It’s easy to screw with the marketing department, but not the C level’s phones.

  6. My brief summary of the situation:

    Apple has created and nicely supports products that the employees at enterprise companies DEMAND. That’s how the revolution is being fought.

    But providing easy to understand tools to the IT dolts for integrating Apple gear, is the grease to let the enterprise executives deal with it. Obviously, Apple’s work with IBM is part of that strategy.

    1. Back in the eighties and nineties people were afraid of computers, flummoxed by complexities wrought by unintuitive and inconsistent user interfaces, insecure in their mastery of these magical beasts controlled by shamans dwelling in shadowy, cable-festooned caverns. A supernatural culture kept a priesthood class in control.

      Today computers are unmysterious appliances, and I.T. workers have devolved to custodial roles. Fear and Awe no longer animate users. We have entered a secular age of computing, a step similar to the European escape from the feudal chokehold of the Middle Ages.

      1. I hope hope hope that’s true! Some people still complain to me that current technology is too complex and that we’re headed toward ‘shamans dwelling in shadowy, cable festooned caverns.’ I continue to find there is a niche for transcommunicators (my word) between the techno elite and the feet on the beat.

        Amusing: I was watching some of the film ‘FAIL SAFE’ last night. Due to a pair of technical faults, rogue nuke planes are out of contact with DC and must be stopped before they blow out Moscow. One quivering professor is talking about how technology has become too complex for we humans to control. We never know if the machines are lying to us, whether they’ve gone off ‘program’. The movie was made in 1964.

        Time, place, culture, relativity: Change never stops. Keep up or get left behind. Lucky we here enjoy riding the techno changes.

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