What’s going on is the strange route Apple has taken to overcome a huge lead by Microsoft to become the purveyor of choice to enterprise IT departments for mobile devices. On the way to the 21st century Apple identified IBM as the enemy. It was PC vs. Mac forever. IBM is not longer in the PC business, supplanted by Microsoft as Public Enemy #1, the company that ruled the enterprise IT roost for 20 years.
Those days are gone. Windows and Office are waning in power, Microsoft is struggling, and free software is everywhere. What’s a self respecting IT department to do? Where does Apple fit in?
Funny story, Apple CEO Steve Jobs hated IBM, hated Microsoft, hated Google’s Android (not to mention Samsung and others who misappropriate what Apple considers it’s own turf; design). New CEO Tim Cook, on the other hand, is a former IBMer and recently cut a deal with Big Blue to put iPhones and iPads– already the most popular smartphone and tablet in the enterprise– deeper into corporate IT department with hand-made customized apps.
Almost without warning it’s Apple that owns the mobile segment of today’s enterprise IT world. Wait. There’s more! Apple and tech giant Cisco have announced a deal which creates a ménage à trois of sorts with the business world’s biggest software and tech titans Cisco plans to optimize their networks for iPhone and iPad.
Without getting into the details– mostly because underlings at all three companies are busy sorting them out; and the executives who penned the agreement are now busy sipping wine and delighting in overpriced sushi– it’s safe to say that with little fanfare or public notice Apple has become an enterprise force to be reckoned with.
Windows and Office are not going away but they’re quickly being marginalized as yesterday’s technology while Apple has won the hearts and minds of enterprise IT units and those who sell them kit and build their customized applications.
A fast track on network hardware and an encyclopedia full of IBM’s best customized apps, ready-made for iPhone and iPad means Apple has gone enterprise in a big way.