Apple to IT: Take It Or Leave it? Really?

The hallways were empty at MacIT — enterprise attendees packed the seminars. And they hammered Apple on their personal tech and security issues.

It’s take it or leave it — for now, anyway. That’s the impression Mac IT attendees got after testy Q and As in seminar after seminar at its event in San Francisco last week.

Mac IT is held in tandem with the big Macworld | iWorld 2012 show. I attended and received a similar impression: That Apple has so far no plans to share re plans for helping big enterprises figure security and remote wipe issues with diverse personal mobile devices.

I noticed it, too.

Photo Credit: Gina Smith

Developers and IT folk I spoke to, anyway, were unsatisfied. They need a solution for rogue employees bringing their own devices and possibly compromising company secure data. This is a trend I’ve been calling BYOD in my pieces at CBS interactive and elsewhere: Bring Your Own Device.

And everybody is!

Speaking at his presentation, consultant Ben Greisler told attendees they “were not voiceless.” At the same time several speakers during Mac IT warned the crowd against ranting and, rather, not to push for a rapid fire Apple response to the BYOD challenge in IT. It urged them to go through official forums and to be constructive.

Photo credit: Gina Smith

Apple has yet to officially deny support of BYOD strategies that these enterprises are crying out so loud for. But those who attended — I’m included — really felt kind of an Apple brush-off. I am sure Apple has plans afoot for enterprise level hardware and software support – the market size is too huge not to — but it should at least say it’s still considering … and that’s there’s help along the way.

Would Apple really say take it or leave it forever to IT on the BYOD issue. No way.


  • I’m not so sure Apple has plans in the enterprise market. When Mac OS X was first released, Gartner analysts said they believed Apple was going to set OS X free and PC users would soon be able to use OS X instead of Windows. That didn’t happen.

    When Final Cut Pro X was released, Apple almost simultaneously virtually killed XSan and all hardware associated with it. That was squarely against large and medium-sized video editing firms’ interests –including those that had invested millions in Apple storage equipment.

    When Lion was released, Lion Server was also upgraded to a product that can no longer bed considered robust server technology.

    Personally, I have the impression Apple thinks their products will find a way into the enterprise “stealth-wise”, by employees and managers bringing along their Apple devices with no IT department able to restrict or forbid that. But a real enterprise strategy? I’ll believe it when I see it…

  • I think this is exactly how Apple wants it – it gives their devices a bit of the same chic that they have always thrived on.

  • WOW

    Where’s Cook on this matter? They gotta want the enterprise dollars that are available. Reading this post makes it seems like the facilitators were straight up JERKS.

    Did they use the force?

    “You WILL use our products as they are.”
    “You WILL bow down to our so-called unicorn of a plan of IT security in enterprise.”

    -RAP, II

  • How many people designing products and calling the shots at Apple have ever worked in Enterprise IT? It can’t be very many — it doesn’t seem like a natural recruiting pool for the company. Which all by itself puts Apple at a disadvantage, because there is no way anyone can understand what Enterprise IT is like, what Enterprise IT needs, or why Enterprise IT wraps itself up tightly in so many rules and layers of indirection, except by living the life. From the outside, every bit of seems stupid and wasteful. When you’re inside, you realize that’s only half true.

    Take it or leave may well be Apple’s final word on the subject, because really, everything it would have to do to make their devices fit smoothly into an Enterprise IT environment would contradict and undermine the image of Apple and its products that it has carefully honed and safeguarded for two decades.

    Ultimately, Apple is a consumer product company, and its shiniest consumer products — the iPhone and iPad — have made their way into the enterprise already. And as long as it’s still making Macs, it will own the art departments and creative teams. But beyond that, I don’t see it happening, because beyond that, you need to think and act and design like Enterprise IT, and you need to compete with commodity servers and desktop and connecting pieces. Apple would just be undermining itself if it tried.

  • I can’t believe Apple is looking at the HUGE HUGE wave of people bringing in iPhones and iPads and NOT taking advantage of a huge market opportunity here.

    Interestingly, Apple IIs broke into offices in much the same way. Back in the day. gs

  • Maybe your thinking too much like an IT person an not like a viral marketer. BYOD is also a way for people to expose more people to the iDevice. Whats better than making people get the device thrown in their face all the time. The other side of this too is cost, employers would rather not have to shoulder a $600 iPad and a $400 iPhone and a $1200 laptop (because lets face it only a tiny percentage of iPad users have completely dumped laptops). So BYOD is likely here to stay. That said, would you let corporate IT have the ability to access and purge your device?