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How Have Apple Devices Transformed the Enterprise?

How Have Apple Devices Transformed the Enterprise?​ Apple and Enterprise Mobility Experts and Users Weigh In.

Apple has radically changed the meaning of business mobility with the introduction of iPhone and iPad in just the last decade. From rich iOS apps, to an iPad operating as a point of sale device, to being able to access important documents anytime, anywhere, the impact of Apple technology has been monumental.

We asked a select group of leading Apple and enterprise mobility experts and users to weigh in on this transformation. Read on to hear their thoughts on how Apple devices like the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook have transformed business processes and why they are important to the enterprise.

Jonny Evans, Computerworld’s Apple Holic Blogger
@jonnyevans_cw

How have Apple devices like the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook transformed business processes?

It started with the iPhone. Such was the popularity of the device (partly due to the popularity of the iPod that preceded it) that introduction of the iPhone very quickly generated a situation in which enterprise employees were using the device for work-related tasks — email, file checking, collaboration and more. App developers climbed aboard and created new solutions that enhanced this — and Apple’s iPad introduction built on the advantage. Within a relatively short space of time enterprises began talking about BYOD, which itself morphed into BYOC (Bring Your Own Computer). Enterprises witnessed increased staff retention, productivity improvements and happier staff through autonomy as the BYOD movement became normalized. Today every business is mobile and Apple’s solutions are customarily embedded across many enterprises, from the C-class execs to the logistics fleet. That’s where the Apple + IBM alliance means so much, of course (as does the Cisco relationship).

Today, just nine years since the launch of the iPhone, Apple has become a player in the enterprise.

For enterprise users this has generated significant productivity, retention, and collaborative advantages (things like SIP are now so pervasive no one thinks about them any more). That’s not to say it hasn’t generated some problems —device and data security, the need to collaborate across enterprise departments, the need to break down traditional silo-based culture and other challenges have emerged, but almost every analysis seems to suggest these tools are unlocking significant business advantages.

Why are these devices important to the enterprise?

It’s not just the advantages we already see among enterprise users. It’s also the advantages connected solutions like these are creating. Think about self-healing infrastructure, network intelligence, connected kiosks that call up their own tech support and the big data analytics advantage that are already enabling on-the-fly creation of new business opportunities in the mobile industries. This capacity to identify and respond to customer needs quickly, cheaply and in real time seems likely to unlock major unexpected (sometimes unimaginable) opportunities across a range of industries as digital transformation takes hold. Think, for example, of the impact of connected digital technologies on agriculture production, distribution and sale as POS and field control systems begin to work more cohesively together. Think about how food suppliers will be able to unlock incredibly accurate future forecasts of demand for produce, and how farms will be informed in real time of what the likely production opportunities are likely to be. This should enable huge efficiency improvements in food production — and, crazy as it sounds, Apple’s solutions — through their industry leading status as solutions for enterprise mobility — are now well on the way to becoming tools of choice in agriculture.

And that’s quite a thing to think about.

Jack Madden, Enterprise Mobility and End User Computing Blogger at BrianMadden.com and TechTarget
@jackmadden

How have Apple devices like the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook transformed business processes?

In my day-to-day work, I usually write about how these devices transformed business process for IT. These devices — along with the cloud and SaaS apps that go hand in hand with them — forced many companies to change their mindset: They went from caring only about desktops, on-premises applications, and their own networks to figuring out how to enable users to work on any device, with data and apps that can come from anywhere.

Why are these devices important to the enterprise?

Mobile devices are already important for all the ways they’ve transformed basic business tasks. What I think is more important and interesting is how mobile devices will transform companies’ proprietary line of business applications and processes. Often these applications were created before modern mobile devices even existed. Mobilizing them — and especially doing it in a way that truly takes advantage of the rich context provided by mobile devices — will create new business opportunities and advantages.

Tully McLoughlin, Operations Associate at Via, Chicago 
@ridewithvia

How have Apple devices like the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook transformed business processes? 

We rely on Apple's devices to connect our driver partners and our riders successfully. Running the Via app, which can be downloaded directly from the App Store, riders can book a ride as soon as they need one. With the Via Driver Partner app, drivers are immediately alerted when pickups are assigned to their car. This coordination is what makes Via work!

Why are these devices important to you?

Without smart, mobile, GPS-enabled devices, we would be unable to make the real-time assignments and adjustments that allow us to provide fast, efficient rides at an affordable flat rate.

Andrew Robinson, Senior IT Support Engineer, Help Desk, Gilt Groupe Japan
@wandrewrobinson
@GiltJapan

How have Apple devices like the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook transformed business processes?

Apple devices have always been a part of our infrastructure here at Gilt Japan, a major part of our forward-looking take on computing. IT loves the integration of the hardware, the OS, Apple's deployment and volume purchase systems, the ease with which we can manage them, as well as the return we get on our IT spend; our diverse user base loves the multi-lingual environment, the individual empowerment they realize from the devices and the ease of use they see in their daily work; and our creatives love the design and flexibility the platform gives them. In my opinion, Apple devices have been one of the key tools driving our company's success.

Why are these devices important to you? 

What I see in them is a daily example of best-in-class hardware and software integration, built from the beginning to serve today's global customer. They combine the best parts of giving people amazing tools that are powerful, yet easy to use — not only for the end-user but also for our IT department. iPhone, iPad and Mac products continue to prove that Apple is serious about moving the state of the art in business and creative and personal productivity forward — beyond what others in the industry can provide. They help give our teams the ability to achieve.

Larry Dignan, Global Editor in Chief of ZDNet and Editorial Director of TechRepublic
@ldignan

How have Apple devices like the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook transformed business processes?

I wouldn't put the MacBook in that category since it drafted off the iPhone and iPad and the halo effect. As for the iPhone and iPad, what really changed in the enterprise was that the employee got a say in their device choices and brought their own gadgets to work. When the iPhone launched, this BYOD concept was foreign. Eventually, enough employees brought the iPhone to work that corporations hopped on board. Apple made life easier with better Exchange support and an ecosystem developed. On the business process front, the jury is still out. Certainly employees became more mobile and apps became used more. The iPhone was a godsend for workers in the field needed Web and app access. I'd rate the iPad higher on the business process scale since it's better used as a point of sale terminal and front end customer experience. Overall, the jury is still out on the business process front, but I expect Apple partnerships with the likes of IBM and SAP on custom apps with analytics to bear fruit.

Why are these devices important to the enterprise?

These devices are important to the enterprise because they enhance mobility, but at this point that game is over. For instance, Samsung devices also enhance mobility. The new battlefront is corporate data and insights. The devices are just a portal to better decision making and insight and that will be delivered via multiple clouds.

Steve Sande, Publisher and Editor, Apple World Today
@stevensande

How have Apple devices like the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook transformed business processes?

Apple’s products have transformed business processes by being ubiquitous. Just look around any office, newsroom, or airport gate and you’ll see most business people using iPhones, iPads and MacBooks to get their work done wherever they may be. Apple’s origination of the App Store provided fertile ground for developers to create powerful mobile business apps used on those devices, and those apps, coupled with iOS and Mac OS X, make it possible for work to be started on one device and easily picked up on another. Today’s business is everywhere thanks to Apple.

Why are these devices important to the enterprise?

Apple’s devices are high-quality and can operate for years through a number of operating system upgrades, so investments in these assets provide a longer lifetime in which to produce tangible benefits. The Apple/IBM MobileFirst for iOS partnership has made it possible for almost any enterprise, in industries from banking to transportation, to deploy corporate-wide solutions that employees want to use to help produce those benefits.

Matt Kapko, Senior Writer, CIO.com 
@mattkapko

How have Apple devices like the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook transformed business processes?

Apple's flagship devices have elevated users to a more powerful position in IT. Businesses must now provide experiences that mirror those that consumers enjoy on iPhones, iPads and MacBooks. Apple's greatest impact is the pace of change it demands of enterprise processes. These devices are forcing IT leaders to be more proactive, and many organizations are making gains in productivity and efficiency as a result.

Why are these devices important to the enterprise?

Workers who are empowered with Apple devices are on the bleeding edge of IT, as their expectations force businesses to adopt more intuitive and effective tools for workflow, collaboration and processing. Organizations that refuse to tailor business processes for Apple devices are in increasingly short supply, and those that remain are going to be left behind before too long.

Xavier Flores, Information Technology / Business Solutions System Manager, Gachina Landscape Management
@go4gachina

How have Apple devices like the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook transformed business processes?

As a landscaping company, iOS devices have come to automate the way we conduct our business by bringing the immediacy of technology to Gachina. Apple devices have increased our productivity and help us reduce our issue response time. iOS devices, particularly the iPhone, have made our operations team connected in a very unique way wherein landscaping solutions are achieved over a simple facetime call.

Why are these devices important to the enterprise?

iOS devices are important to me because they have become the most productive tool used by the members of our organization. iPhones and iPads have come to automate the way I service my users by allowing me to digitize a significant number of forms, remotely install, manage and use them. The automation provided by iOS devices has also increase the efficiency and response time to our clients’ request.

Apple devices are truly flourishing within our organization, making us more connected and turning us into pioneers in the landscaping industry. Our users can bid, sell and even perform a job from the comfort of their device. iOS devices allows our users to access many job essential tools from timecards to irrigation controllers. Our users can start and finish a job from the comfort of their device, while at the same time be in communication with the entire company.