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Over the last 15 years, Apple has seen continued strong growth in the enterprise. On the strength of the iPhone, the iPad and Mac have been favorites for IT and end-users alike. In pondering the next 15 years of enterprise trends, I believe Apple is poised to pick up even more of the market share.
About Apple @ Work: Bradley Chambers has been managing an enterprise IT network since 2009. Through his experience deploying and managing firewalls, switches, a mobile device management system, enterprise-grade Wi-Fi, 100s of Macs, and 100s of iPads, Bradley will highlight ways in which Apple IT managers deploy Apple devices, build networks to support them, train users, stories from the trenches of IT management, and ways Apple could improve its products for IT departments.
One of the trends that have become popular among enterprise customers is buying into ecosystems. Companies don’t often want to build things, but rather buy things. Instead of building Wi-Fi from scratch, they buy into a platform that can expand as they expand. Instead of hoping their switches can expand in the future, they pick a platform that lets them manage all of their switches from a single portal. Instead of building their own CRM tool, they buy an off-the-shelf one that is well maintained and supported. For their data, apps, and hardware – rarely does anyone choose to build today, they buy. They buy solutions versus buying pieces of a solution they have to maintain and expand on internally. This trend plays in Apple’s favor because they have the most well-rounded and developed ecosystem when compared to Android and Windows.
Where is Microsoft’s mobile strategy?
Considering that smartphones are the largest computing market, it still amazes me that Windows doesn’t exist as software for smartphones. It did, for a time, and it was good. The problem is that no one bought it (ironically, the same problem Apple used to have).
I still believe Microsoft should have stuck with Windows Phone to have a strong ecosystem for businesses. When businesses are looking at their technology stack for their employees, it makes much more sense to pick a platform that covers laptops and mobile versus picking one platform for mobile and one for desktop computing. Yes, I am aware of the Surface Duo, but I am talking about Windows running on a mobile device – not a Microsoft phone with Android.
Even if Microsoft Phone was chugging along at a 5% market share, it could help drive Surface laptops as businesses buy into the whole ecosystem.
Why Apple is poised for continued strong growth in enterprise
For the same reason I think Microsoft should have stuck with Windows Phone, I think Apple is going to become the default pick for enterprises over the next 15 years.
The success of the iPhone doesn’t need to be rehashed. It’s the default phone for most enterprise deployments. Apple has made a phone that people love to use, but that’s easy to secure and manage for IT departments thanks to Apple’s well-developed MDM technology.
The success of Apple Silicon has made Apple look even better in the eyes of IT purchasing teams. It’s affordable, has a long-lasting battery, is very secure, and it’s blazing fast. The M1 Apple laptops check all the boxes of being the perfect enterprise bulk buy. Even the standard models are plenty fast enough for the vast majority of employees.
The iPad continues to provide the third leg for Apple’s enterprise strategy. For employees who work out in the field, it’s an easy way to access company data, access your email, and a near desktop-class computing environment in a more streamlined device. With the new technology coming in iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey, it’s going to be an even better experience if you use multiple Apple products.
Of course, hardware is just part of the experience. macOS, iOS, and iPadOS are in extremely healthy places and make for a great and secure employee experience.
Mobile Device Management is the icing on the cake
Outside of all the great hardware and software reasons for IT teams to prefer Apple along with employees, the “icing on the cake” is the robust management tools that Apple has built out for MDM vendors to tie into.
With a great MDM, IT departments don’t have to pick between great hardware and software versus a strong management and compliance tool. They get both with Apple. With the Security Endpoint technology for macOS, Apple lets employees have a great Apple experience while IT can keep everything in compliance. Even for companies who don’t add additional protection, Apple’s built-in macOS tools and iOS allow for a secure environment while preserving a great experience.
Wrap-up on why Apple will continue to grow in the enterprise
Apple is going to continue to grow in the enterprise and take desktop market share from Microsoft because of three reasons:
- A complete ecosystem
- A great employee experience
- A secure environment for IT
When choosing Apple, IT teams can deploy a single vendor and manage all of their devices from a single console. It’s never been a better time to use Apple products at work or be responsible for managing them. There’s a reason every Fortune 500 company is using Apple products today, and these are just a handful of the reasons.
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