Nick Wingfield of the New York Times says that Apple is warming up to the business and enterprise market, but isn’t it the other way around?
Steve Jobs never really saw a benefit in developing for the enterprise market. The success of his products were the result of identifying what end-users really wanted before they even knew it, and developing for the enterprise often requires integrating inputs and suggestions from the potential end users which ends up defining the product roadmap.
What has happened in the past few years is that companies can no longer avoid supporting Apple products and have caved in on letting employees use them. Consumers are bringing their preference to work and making it the standard. This is a model that companies like Yammer have focused on to get into the enterprise successfully.
So, if it now appears that Apple is warming to the enterprise, it’s because the enterprise actually warmed to them first. Companies have now decided to try to make it work, and it does. A friend of mine who works at one of the big four accounting firms recently showed me his company’s iPhone app to access email and other company resources securely. He says people at the company, especially former BlackBerry users, love it.
ServiceMax caught on to this new enterprise affinity for Apple products before others in our industry. It has taken off in field service even faster than in many other functions because of the success of the iPhone and iPad combined with the inherent necessity for mobility in field service.
So, the answer? Apple may have warmed to the enterprise a bit, but the enterprise has warmed to them like a steak over a high flame. The cow probably didn’t want it that way, but it’s happening.