Desktops across corporate America have long been occupied by Window-based PCs. IT departments have acted as the technology mafia and dictated without pushback what PC brand using Windows will be adopted universally across all departments. Much of this mafia-like mandate was rooted in ignorance and fear because IT people didn’t have a clue when it came to Macs. If a rogue employee requested a Mac, IT people would quickly squash the idea citing “compatibility issues” and further flame fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD). If that rogue employee escalated the request to an executive, the executive, more often than not, would just defer to the IT person and their cartel-like demands.
Enter the iPad. Suddenly executives who uncharacteristically never challenged anything IT people told them now have an iPad. Maybe they received it as a gift. Or maybe they bought it for themselves. How it got in their hands doesn’t matter. What matters is that the Apple heroin needle just penetrated their arm and juiced their soul and, for the first time ever, the exec feels technology euphoria. They experience a high they never felt when using a Windows-based PC. And they see that there are zero compatibility issues with the applications they use most: email, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and web browser.
If you ask me, the age-old-adage is true: Once you go Mac, you never go back. Suddenly the Windows-based PC executives settled for and never questioned seems inadequate. It certainly does not make them feel euphoric and they jones for the high the iPad gave them. Even more powerful is that they find themselves frustrated with the Windows-based PC. Before experiencing an iPad, they didn’t know any better, but now they do. And now they think getting a Mac for their desktop would be a great idea and enable their buzz to go on all day long.
At the same time, in a different corporate backstreet alley, the company’s sales people — the ones responsible for bringing in the revenue — are now desperate for iPads. Maybe they looked old school and out of touch because a competitor presented with a sexy iPad while they hauled in their clunky, anchor-like Windows-based laptop. Maybe the sales person got an iPad for a gift and realized it would be a better tool to help them close business. What catalyst ignited their new demands doesn’t matter. What matters is that the organization tied to bringing in the money is demanding iPads. And the execs who previously wouldn’t have known what the sales people were talking about now agree.
Forrester published a report last year on corporate desktop operating trends. The report showed that between April 21010 and April 2011 corporate Windows-based operating systems use declined from 89.6% to 87.6%. That doesn’t seem huge, but what is more interesting is that during that same time period, Mac OS X usage increased from 9.1% to 11%. That’s a 21% increase. If that 21% increase continues at a flat rate every year, in five years Mac OS X will be own approximately 30% of corporate desktops. I think that percentage of growth is further fueled now that corporate influencers — the execs and sales people — have gotten stoned on the iPad and have become addicted to Apple’s technology. If that growth percentage increases year over year, I would expect that Mac OS X will be pretty darn close to owning 50% of the corporate desktop within five years.
I believe the iPad is the gateway drug for corporate America and will lead to bigger Apple drug use like Macs, Apple servers, etc. Do you think I’m smoking crack? Is Apple going to take over corporate America?