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Yes, Virginia…iCloud = iEnterprise

Last week, Lauren Carlson, a CRM Market Analyst for Software Advice, wrote a post about her take on how iCloud could be the foothold Apple needs to establish itself as a major player in the enterprise category.

Lauren’s article make some good points for and against Apple in this space…but the article concludes with “a cloudy future” summary.

To me, the future with iCloud, Apple, and the enterprise market is as crystal clear as the diving waters in Belize.

One just needs to look at the the facts in the article – as well as those you’ve likely read elsewhere – to see a wave shaped like the Apple logo descending on corporate America.

The number of Macs being sold to enterprise market was on average up 66% in Q1 2011…and if you read the research, the biggest growth area was to “very large businesses”. And this just isn’t a flash in the pan as sales of Apple computers grew in consumer, education, and government sectors as well.

What’s driving this growth? Easy…the “halo effect” of Apple iDevices…specifically the iPad. And looking ahead to the announced Multi-Touch features of Lion, this growth will only continue.

Back in the 80’s…when GUI’s were just emerging, I feel the public voted with their wallets rather than the most elegant solution. The price differential between Macs and PCs was just ridiculous…and at the time—to me anyways—Apple hardware definitely wasn’t as sexy and/or as unique compared to PCs as it is today.

But now…you get a Jonny Ive inspired design and a far superior OS (especially with iOS). Form and Function trump cost….even in a corporate jungle ruled by CFO’s.

As long as market share grows for consumers and in education, the more people exposed to Macs will begin to ask and even demand them in the work place as they experience—and know—what they don’t have to put up with in an operating system. For a long time people would just assume the Windows experience was how computers operated, but when an iPhone or an iPad proves itself as a better working OS than even a full windows machine peoples eyes open up and expectations change.

Budget overlords and IT departments will be forced to integrate Apple into their teams’ workflows…and since Apple already looks at everyone as a user/consumer, they’ll address any issues (security/privacy, user log activity, user management) in the near term I’m sure. While others, including Lauren, aren’t sure of the time frame for this, do you honestly think Steve doesn’t want millions of potential corporate evangelists to tell others how insanely great Apple products and services are…sooner rather than later?

Apple owns the tablet market…their computer sales are growing….of course there’s a plan to take on the enterprise market.

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  • Thats a little far ahead at this moment. Apple mouth right now is focusing still on ruling the consumer market, mainly in taking over the mobile consumer market. Business wise, I don’t see Apple doing too many big things. iCloud doesn’t have any big features that is targeted at the enterprises, maybe except iMessage if you can consider it a cloud service. iMessage is a direct competitor to RIM’s BBM that is for sure.

    • Hi there-

      I actually think that a direct competitor to Blackberry is by nature, going after an enterprise, corporate market. Also, they’ve already tackled the mobile and “tablet” market so this seems to be about their next move.

      On the other hand, lately I’ve been worried that with the success of iOS devices, less attention would be paid to their “Pro” line- ie the Mac Pro, Macbook Pro. Some of this can be seen in the new release of Final Cut Pro. From what I’ve read (I’m in audio, not video), the new software is getting horrible reviews and part of that is because it supports iMovie project and not projects from previous releases of Final Cut.

      Lots of stuff to think about….I just hope they keep their “creative-pro” line solid and progressive.

      O-Dub Scott

      P.S. Nice article Grant- very well written!