I was watching a Gartner Webinar the other day about mobile device management (MDM) and something the analyst said, almost as a throwaway comment, stood out. Basically, he recommended that if you were introducing MDM into your organization, it should be built on using iOS or Windows 10 Mobile devices.
This despite the fact that Android-based devices dominated the market in 2015 with 80% share, not so closely followed by Apple with 16% and then Windows Mobile with 3%. So, why did he recommend ignoring devices based on the clear market leader? Well, when I tell you that there are reckoned to be more than 24,000 versions of Android out there, you can probably begin to see why! The overhead in supporting all these different version for IT is pretty horrendous.
IBM and Apple
Traditionally Apple has targeted their products at consumers rather than enterprises. But, the announcement, last year, that IBM is replacing 200,000 of it PCs with Macs changed the landscape. Coupled with this IBM announced a new scheme to help large organizations deploy Macs in their own IT infrastructure. So, it looks like Apple has its sights set clearly on the enterprise as a way of maintaining growth.
Traditionally IT support teams have not looked favorably on Apple kit in the enterprise, but this view is changing. According to IBM, only 5% of its employees who are using Macs need help from their tech’ support, compared to 40% of those using PCs. However, some organizations who allow their users to bring in their own Apple devices make them support themselves via online forums. So it is not all plain sailing.
Resistance from tech’ support
Initial capital cost has always been a major issue for organizations wanting to implement Apple. A recent survey by Tech Pro Research revealed that 35% of respondents said implementing Apple products led to increased spending on equipment. While 22% saw an increased spend in overall IT dept. spending.
Many people reckon that Apple is slow in providing the tools and support that corporate IT needs to manage their equipment. But, this appears to be changing. The soon to release iOS 9.3 offers many new MDM features giving IT departments greater control over employee devices.
In conclusion, it seems that Apple is a bit like Marmite in the IT world. You either love it or hate it. Speaking to a few of our developers who work on iOS and support people who have to look after it, they fall clearly in the hater’s camp.
So, is Apple set to dominate the enterprise? They are certainly making inroads, but they have some work to do to win over doubting tech’ support people. Watch this space.
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