Apple Will Never Unseat
Microsoft in the Enterprise
in onesies and
APPLE IS RIDING HIGH these days, not just in the consumer market with the iPhone and iPad, but increasingly in the corporate market as well. Some people envision the day when Apple will challenge Microsoft in the enterprise. That will never happen.
Preston Gralla is a
and the author of
more than 35 books,
including How the
In early January, Forrester Research came out
with an eye-popping prediction: In 2012, enterprises will spend 58% more on Apple hardware
than they did in 2011 — an estimated $19 billion.
And by 2013, that figure will hit $28 billion, Forrester added.
Analyst Andrew Bartels said, “The biggest dis-
ruptive force in the computer equipment market
is not [the cloud], but Apple. Its rapid growth in
the corporate market has been the big surprise of
2011, and it will be even more of a factor in 2012.”
Bartels cited several factors for the growth.
High on the list are what he calls “clandestine”
purchases of Apple products such as iPads and
MacBook Airs by high-level employees, who essen-
tially sneak them in the back door. Bartels added
that although Apple still isn’t enterprise-minded,
Apple CEO Tim Cook is more enterprise-focused
than Steve Jobs had been. Bartels noted that Apple
has created a corporate sales team and now offers
volume discounts on the iPad.
Bartels’ prediction was seconded by Forrester’s
Frank Gillett, who said of Microsoft’s dominance
of the enterprise, “That’s over and done with.
We’re in a heterogeneous environment, due to the
increase in use of mobile devices, hardly any of
them Windows, and a dramatic increase in using
technology at home or out of sight of enterprise I T.”
Forrester claims that more than 20% of en-
terprise employees now use an Apple device for
work, frequently one that they bought themselves.
Despite all that, Apple will never come close
to unseating Microsoft in the enterprise. First,
clandestine isn’t a business plan. Buying devices
in onesies and twosies will never compete against
the massive, enterprisewide buys overseen by
central IT. Second, Apple can’t count on employ-
ees buying hardware out of their own pockets.
Again, that’s not a sustainable business plan.