iPhone 5 Cements Apple's Role As An Enterprise Stadium Rocker: What CIOs Need To Know

Quick review: iPhone launches in 2007. CIOs don't care. I perk up. 2008. Apple launches App Store and Exchange ActiveSync support. CIOs start to wake up. Kraft's Dave Dietrich uses iPhone to revitalize Kraft's technology culture. As a software developer, my spidey senses start tingling. 2009-10. Apple adds hardware encryption, hooks to device management suppliers like MobileIron and Good Technology and Boxtone, a hundred million customers, and oh yeah, CEOs start bringing Christmas iPads to work and asking for email support. 2011. Apple App Store really picks up steam. (Android does, too.) iPad at work reaches 67% of the installed base according to our global information worker survey of 10,000 of your employees. iPhone gets slimmer, and Apple sells more of them than ever.

Now it's 2012. Apple sells over half a billion iOS devices since 2007. Apple is the major go-to smartphone for CIOs coming off a BlackBerry addiction. Apple is the dominant supplier of business tablets. Microsoft introduces v8 of its Windows Phone OS (not so many of them sold yet) and announces a tablet. And as colleague Thomas Husson points out, Google lights up 1.3 million Android devices a day. And Apple launches iPhone 5 running iOS 6.

So what does this announcement mean for CIOs? I'd say, CIOs need to tune into popular culture and divine what's happening in the consumer market. Because whither goeth the consumer market goeth the business market. You heard it here. Here's what iPhone5 means for the enterprise:

  • Apple generates enough excitement to force a refresh of its best customers -- your employees. That means they will be giving their iPhone 4s and 4Ss to family, friends, and maybe their colleagues. That means more iPhones walking through the door on September 20th.
  • Apple's iOS6 has solid advances -- and some gotchas -- for enterprise scenarios. Hardware improvements aside (and they are substantial for those who watch screen size, battery life, camera power, sensors, battery life, weight, and such), many of the improvements come from a better operating system, with more security, more management APIs, and more and better network connectivity. It also embeds Facebook, which will make it even easier for employees to post stuff maybe they shouldn't on the world wide Internet.
  • Apple's ecosystem gets stronger, as colleague Charlie Golvin points out. I don't just mean content, though that, too. I mean iPhone as a full body controller of other things that employees will wear, carry, or touch. As colleague Sarah Rotman Epps notes, iPhone becomes a brain of the post-PC (and wearable computing) onslaught. The adoption of low-power Bluetooth 4.0 and the guaranteed support by appliance, co-gadget, and accessory vendors means that employees will soon want you to care about their 
  • Microsoft falls farther behind in the mobile ecosystem wars . . . Microsoft has a very good product with Windows Phone 8, but it doesn't have the ecosystem that Apple does.
  • . . . Though Android does not necessarily. 500 million Android phones can't be argued with. Android is here to stay. Google is playing to win.
  • Apple cements its role as a stadium rocker. If Apple were asleep at the wheel putting out lousy albums, you might wonder if Microsoft might be a safer choice. But with this release, it's clear that the Apple plans to keep making hits, to grow its ecosystem to solar system proportions and draw in all the supporting players it can. iPhone is the sixth album of a stadium rocker. Apple, the Bruce Springsteen of smartphones.

What are your thoughts?

Categories: