Apple tends to lean heavily in towards the everyday consumer and not speak to the potential value to businesses. It feels a bit like they have so much trust in their fanbase that Apple automatically assumes that their technology will get pulled into businesses without having to address the business market. Some may call this approach arrogant and others would call this brilliant, but the fact remains that we have witnessed from day one of the Apple iPhone that appealing to consumers and application developers has created an automatic shoo-in into the business. ESG research consistently shows that end-users are creating a significant push for business to support Apple devices (personal and corporate owned).
There are so many soft costs associated with new mobile moments created by supporting mobile devices and wearables in a corporate environment that they tend to be difficult to measure and are often specialized to the industry, company, and team. With Apple’s announcements, there are a couple of hard costs benefit that stood out to me that include:
- Apple iPhones aren’t cheap (iPhone X $999). The cost of the device factors into the economic decision that a company will make when choosing devices and when smartphone prices are matching laptop prices, justifying the expense is a critical factor. I do believe that we are accelerating quickly towards having fewer devices, like what I see Samsung DeX doing with a docked phone, but Apple doesn’t appear to address how mainstream middle America workers continue to use a keyboard and mouse.
- Apple Face ID. We all see that privacy and security are top of mind for business, IT pros, and end-users. A feature like Face ID that uses facial recognition to authenticate a user can be very beneficial to businesses as a secure means of authentication that can also work with third party apps. As the business perimeter rapidly expands, so does the risk factor. Businesses should welcome stronger authentication built into the device and potentially use it as an opportunity to switch on access to more applications.
One thing for certain is that consumers love Apple devices and business will have to find ways to support them in a secure manner. While the focus to protect devices has been on smartphones, I do believe that the business also has to be prepared to support wearables like the Apple Watch and devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
Apple continues to impress and inspire consumers and works its way into businesses without much effort. As a result, Google and Microsoft (maybe even Amazon and Facebook) have an opportunity to create some momentum inside businesses with devices, management, and security solutions that match closely to existing top CIO whiteboard priorities without having the latest and greatest Animojis .