Kel Kelly

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iPad Is The Gateway Drug For Corporate America

April 29, 2012 8:30 AM

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?

Posted by Kel | in Uncategorized | 10 Comments »

10 Comments on “iPad Is The Gateway Drug For Corporate America”

  1. Steven Hagerstrom Says:

    I agree that the iPad is a fantastic tool that needs to be accommodated in the corporate IT structure. You are right that the executives who uncharacteristically never challenged anything IT people told them now have, love and are starting to demand their iPads.
    There are still many concerns about how to incorporate these devices and keep the corporate network secure. The latest trend in IT security discussions is BYOD or Bring Your Own Device to work. There could be huge savings for the corporate IT budget if people supplied their own devices but unfortunately those savings would be eliminated by the cost of making those devices secure. Then comes the question of who owns the data on the device regardless of whether it is personnel or corporate.
    Apple has put a stake in the ground regarding mobile devices in the corporate landscape but my guess is that they will probably not infiltrate the corporate IT environment with servers and workstations.

  2. Tyson Says:

    Kel- good question. I love the premise here, and WANT to agree with you, but I can’t.

    I’m a recent Apple convert (4 years ago) and love me my Apple products (don’t get me wrong) but I STILL don’t see widespread adoption- here’s why…

    Selfishly- I’d rather still have Microsoft own corporate america- makes me feel better rooting for Apple. If Apple gets bigger, i might have to go back to Microsoft and root for THEM as underdogs

    Price. Apple is expensive. I’m typing on a $1400 laptop. Could probably accomplish the same on a $450 laptop

    Infrastructure- feels like there is simply way too much too replace!

  3. Kel Says:

    steve, thanks for sharing your perspective. the implications of byod are HUGE. i would imagine that this would make it feel like they are in a free fall. however, free falls never stop innovation from taking over. the thought of dipping their toe in social media created the same free fall fear uncertainty and doubt. and today, corporate america is eating social media dog food and washing it down with social media koolaid. haha.

  4. Kel Says:

    tyson, i love diversity of opinions. thanks for taking the time to comment. i will scream my lungs out for apple to dominate corporate america. i have faith that they will never wear the microsoft gorilla suit, but ya’ never know. google is starting to look more like microsoft every single day.

  5. Kathy Says:

    Kel, the company I work for is a Medical Device Company, our sales rep’s are issued an iPad the day they start out on the road. Our product videos and all technical information is right at the touch of the reps happy little fingers. I do think it has an edgy hip feel when walking through any door.

  6. Kel Says:

    kath, i am not surprised to hear the reps are armed with ipads. it certainly presents a cool image. i’m curious — do they have macs or pcs on their desks?

  7. Frank "The Repressed Mac Guy" Says:

    Kel, you hit it out of the park on this one! Not only do I totally agree with you, but I’ve lived it! It’s almost like you wrote this post for me…lol. It’s amazing to me that more and more people are adopting iPads, iPhones, etc. yet there is still an overwhelming resistance from IT communities at large to embrace a simple, clean and more reliable experience. The tide however (at least I hope) is certainly changing.

    When I read your post, it conjured up memories of the 1984 Apple Superbowl commercial, which as we all know was a watershed moment for Apple. It’s amazing how true Apple has stayed to their brand promise as innovators, and non-conformists. Eventually, it’s my hope that all IT minions will be destroyed by a heroine with a giant sledge hammer :-)

  8. Kathy Says:

    Kel, unfortunately the issued computer is still a PC, but many prefer to utilize a personal Mac.

  9. Kel Says:

    frank, your last line is a killer. very funny…as usual. haha.

  10. Kel Says:

    that blows kath. hopefully frank’s hope will come true…although i hope nobody really gets hurt. tee hee.

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