iCloud Ready For iEnterprise?

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There has been a lot of buzz about Apple’s latest brainchild, the iCloud. The purpose of the iCloud is to bring your information together across all Apple devices. Download a song on your iPod and it is automatically synched with your Mac, iPad, iPhone, and whatever other Apple devices you might own.

One of the more intriguing features of iCloud is the ability to sync your documents across all devices as well. While the majority of the features seem to cater to the individual user, this one could easily be taken into the enterprise. But does Apple have enterprise ambitions? With their power plays across multiple industries, I don’t doubt that Apple could invade this space if they wanted to. If the answer is yes, then there are a few things they will need to address. After all, Steve Jobs makes some awesome products, but nobody is perfect.

Barriers to the Enterprise:

  • Integration: The enterprise has a horizontal focus when it comes to software and hardware. Gone are the days of a company being run entirely on IBM. Now, it is commonplace for businesses to be running different versions of multiple systems, all integrated together. Apple is great at vertical integration, but they have never been known for playing well with other systems.
  • Sharing: One of the primary benefits of operating in the cloud is the ability to share documents an information among individuals and groups. This is a necessity in the enterprise when you have several people collaborating on one project. We know that Apple’s iCloud syncs information on your own devices, but what about the devices of others? Is the iCloud big enough for the both of us?
  • Legacy: Apple has always been a user-centric company. Though the use of Apple products in the enterprise has been up in recent years (our office is run entirely on Macs), they have never focused their design on catering to big businesses. So, why would they do that now?

Apple As An Enterprise Darling?

  • Change: Apple is a brand that has redefined itself many times. It does not stray away from change, but rather embraces it. Sure, it may not traditionally be an enterprise-focused company, but this bird can definitely change it’s feathers.
  • Enterprise users: People love to talk about Apple as a user-centric company. But what do you think companies are made up of? Users! Perhaps the gap between user and enterprise is not that wide. As mentioned above, we are already seeing a growth of Apple products in business. According to a study conducted by Needham, Apple’s has a staggeringly impressive growth rate of 66% in the enterprise last quarter. You can see that growth broken up by business size in the chart below.

Growth of Apple in the Enterprise

The iCloud doesn’t come out until fall 2011, so right now, everything is quite literally up in the air. Will Apple make a play for the enterprise? No one knows but the great and powerful Jobs – and even he may be unsure. But the potential is definitely there.

What do you think? Could Apple one day compete with Salesforce?

Read the full article here.

Lauren Carlson
Lauren writes about various topics related to CRM software, with particular interest in sales force automation, marketing automation, and customer service. She has a background in the music industry, and when she isn't writing about software, you can find her running at Town Lake and singing at local venues. She is a graduate of the University of Texas with a bachelor's degree in journalism. Follow her on Twitter @crmadvice

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