APPLE SAW 255% GROW TH in unit shipments of Mac desktops and laptops to the enterprise last year, ac- cording to IDC. While that sounds like a major uptick, the percentage is misleading because Apple’s shipments to en- terprises suffered a steep decline in 2009 during the recession (even though Apple’s total Mac business grew by 8% that year).
APPLE IN THE ENTERPRISE
Annual Growth Rates
of Mac Shipments
n total Mac shipments (u.s.)
n Enterprise* shipments (u.s.)
San Antonio-based USAA has also released a customer-facing
app for iPhones and iPads, and it’s considering developing others
for internal use. “There seems to be a simmering demand for
them, and some good business cases,” says Mike Pansini, assistant vice president of IT infrastructure architecture at USAA.
But as is the case at many large companies, USAA’s relationship with Apple is more measured than it might first appear.
The iPhones and iPads have been limited to the executive management group — USAA has no plans at present to expand their
use more broadly — and its 200 Mac desktops and laptops, mostly
used by developers, represent a small fraction of USAA’s inventory
of personal computers. The rest of its information workers — some
23,000 people — remain solidly on the Windows platform.
It’s certainly true that Apple is making inroads into large enterprises. In a recent Computerworld survey of 367 IT managers, 73% of
the respondents said they’re providing or supporting Apple products
in some way. But 25% still aren’t supporting even one iPhone, Mac
or iPad (and 2% didn’t know if they were). The 143 largest enterprises in the survey — those with more than 1,000 employees — had
the same ratio: 73% support an Apple product; 27% don’t.
And while the 167,000 units shipped to u.s. enterprises last year represent a record for Apple, that’s just 2% of the more than 9 million personal
computers of all types that were shipped to enterprises in 2010.
During the recession, Apple’s reputation as a premium brand — and
the fact that it doesn’t offer a low-end product line — may have worked
against it with enterprise customers. From 2006 to 2009, shipments of
Macs to the enterprise took a nosedive, dropping from 105,000 to 47,000
units. In contrast, overall Mac sales grew by double digits during that
period. “the Mac was too expensive while the economy was trying to get
back on track,” says IDC analyst David Daoud.
— ROBERT L. MITCHELL
Annual Mac Shipments
n Enterprise shipments (u.s.)
2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Mac Market Share
in the Enterprise*
n Mac shipments to
enterprises as a percentage of total enterprise
PC shipments (u.s.)
*Note: IDC defines enterprises as organizations
that have more than 500 employees.
Although many enterprise IT organizations are accommodating user-owned or company-issued iPads and iPhones, they’re
providing carefully controlled access to a limited set of corporate
IT resources, such as the Internet and corporate e-mail.
Apple is also making headway with corporate desktops and
laptops: 55% of the survey respondents support at least one Mac,
and 60% support MacBooks. But in most of those cases, the IT
shops are supporting 100 or fewer Apple machines. And the Mac’s
penetration into large businesses is miniscule when compared
with the number of Windows-based machines ordered each year.
Furthermore, IT managers say Apple isn’t always supportive of
their needs, and the Computerworld survey shows that many of
the obstacles Macs have always faced in large organizations still
exist, including the following:
n Mac versions of enterprise applications either don’t exist or
lag behind releases for Windows.
n There are few tools for managing Macs on a large scale and
integrating them into a Windows-centric enterprise.
n The perception remains that Apple products are expensive.
n IT managers say that service and support options aren’t up