Look at the state of the world around us. Every night on TV news, in newspapers, and on every website with political, medicinal, and technological roots, we see, hear, and feel a constant barrage of fear mongering.
It’s political silly season so the fear trumped up by politicians is palpable these days, so I find myself looking at my Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Watch, and saying a simple ‘Thank you‘ to Apple for taking the high road, for staying the course, for doing what it can to help kill the fears we have have about technology, privacy, security, and the work we expect our gadgets to perform for us.
By God, Or By The Devil
If there’s one thing good to be said about Satan the Devil, it’s that he’s a hard worker, seemingly working overtime to excite the masses with fear and distrust. He’s doing a good job, right? How else do you explain lawsuits against Samsung for exploding smartphones, lawsuits against Microsoft for abusive Windows 10 upgrades, Google reneging on promises of more privacy, and Yahoo!’s inability to secure personal data for 500-million users?
Where I work the ruling entities are Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Cloud, two subscription-based application suites which are the standard of their respective industry segments, both of which charge by the month to use, and both of which have many competitors that offer similar capabilities for far less money.
iWork Because iCan
Here’s a perfect example of how Apple works to disrupt fear. Let’s call it iWorks, Apple’s suite of Keynote presentation software, Numbers spreadsheet application, and Pages word processor. The suite is free and competes well against Microsoft Office for perhaps 90-percent of what most of us need from such applications. The other 10-percent is known as diminishing returns, exacerbated by the fear of using something less than the de facto standards.
Why do people keep using Microsoft Office vs. a free suite of apps like iWork? Fear. The fear of file compatibility. Office is somewhat ubiquitous in the business world, and it takes a courageous company executive to ditch the expense of anything with a Microsoft label and use another solution, even one that is free. Fear rules in business.
So, why has Apple, the company that makes consumer electronic gadgets, become so successful in the enterprise; the technology end of corporate life where the likes of IBM and Microsoft and Oracle thrive? It’s more of a peaceful co-existence where Apple has taken a seat in business by the sheer force of the customer. Way back when, Apple’s Steve Jobs highlighted the iPhone’s advantages to the enterprise.
- Better Data Protection
- Mobile Device Management
- Wireless App Distribution
- Multiple Exchange Accounts
- Exchange Server Support
- SSL VPN Support
What I love about the consumer market, that I always hated about the enterprise market, is that we come up with a product, we try to tell everybody about it, and every person votes for themselves. They go ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ and if enough of them say ‘yes,’ we get to come to work tomorrow. That’s how it works. It’s really simple. With the enterprise market, it’s not so simple. The people that use the products don’t decide for themselves, and the people that make those decisions sometimes are confused. We love just trying to make the best products in the world for people and having them tell us by how they vote with their wallets whether we’re on track or not.
The iPhone’s customers voted. Apple won the enterprise with mobile devices that employees actually want to use.
Tech writer and prognosticator Jason Hiner:
Judging by that statement, I doubt we’ll see Apple cozying up to the enterprise very much in the near future and IT leaders should be very clear about that. Apple is likely to throw a few bones to the enterprise to make the iPhone palatable to the powers that be in the corporate IT world. However, do not expect Apple to do what RIM has done over the past decade, which is to cultivate its product (BlackBerry) to the wants and needs of CIOs.
It was at that point, back in 2010, when Apple already had about 30-percent of the smartphone usage in the enterprise. Today, thanks to the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, and, of course, former IBM executive Tim Cook, Apple’s mobile devices have a nearly 75-percent share of the enterprise market. And it’s growing. Even better, Apple’s new Swift programming language has been adopted by IBM. VP Mike Gilfix:
Apple is smartly creating great digital experiences and I think they know that great digital experiences mean unleashing tons of innovation from the community overall… With this release, Swift is now ready for the enterprise… I used to be a language hacker back in the day… It’s not every day you see the birth of a new programming ecosystem like Swift is going to be. I think we’re only getting started.
Getting started? That’s high praise, but Apple has earned a seat at the enterprise table because it works diligently to eradicate fear, uncertainty, and doubt. It’s been my experience in dealing with technology companies in the Bay area, that executives like a dependable product roadmap and that’s what Apple gives with Mac, iPhone, iPad, Watch, and now with software. iWork is a suite of apps made for the rest of us, but useful in business circles as well– so long as those who use it understand that fear is what has been driving their usage of Microsoft Office and Windows PCs for a few decades.