IT Management Slideshow: 9 Ways for Apple to Win Over CIOsBy Don Reisinger | Posted 07-21-2011
9 Ways for Apple to Win Over CIOs
Give us a real corporate smartphoneSome would argue that iPhone 4 is a corporate-ready smartphone. In some ways, that's true. But, pitted against a BlackBerry, iPhone 4 just doesn't hold up. BlackBerry Enterprise Server and robust IT control are among the kinds of corporate features that iPhone needs.
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Improve enterprise support for desktopsThe company has raised the bar for all when it comes to supporting consumers. On the corporate side, it's a different story. Apple doesn't offer the level of service that CIOs require. Microsoft and its vendor partners, on the other hand, deliver the kind of support CIOs want.
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Get an attitude adjustmentIf Apple is anything, it's confident that it has the best products for any customer. It hasn't modified its strategy one bit to satisfy anyone else. But corporate customers aren't as pleased with Apple products as they could be. And in order for Apple to become more CIO-friendly, it has to be willing to listen to IT executives.
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Try acknowledging corporate needsMicrosoft has always engaged in a "push" strategy when it comes to the corporate world. Rather than try and draw corporate customers to its products with dedicated offerings, in most cases, Apple makes no concessions for the enterprise. For CIOs, that's a problem.
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Let's have less secrecy You spend a considerable amount of time planning out your spending, not only for the next 12 months period, but for the long term as well. Apple's penchant for secrecy doesn't make planning for the future easier. If Apple wants to be more CIO-friendly, it needs to be less secretive about upcoming products and upgrades, at least for corporate customers.
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Launch an enterprise-class cloud solutionThe recently announced iCloud is a solution that lives on the Web and will allow users to sync content across their many devices. It seems fine for consumers, but falls flat for enterprise users. If Apple really wants to be CIO-friendly (and why wouldn't it?), delivering an enterprise-class cloud solution would help.
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Think about those pricesApple delivers some of the most expensive products in the marketplace. In the consumer market, this strategy helps Apple seem like a premium provider of a premium product. On the corporate side, it makes the company look overpriced and unappealing.
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Offer bundled virtualizationCorporate customers who want to run Windows on a Mac have two main options: Apple's Boot Camp solution and virtualization. The latter is undoubtedly preferred. The problem is, running a virtual version of Windows on a Mac adds to the expense of Apple's already pricey computers. Here's a long-shot: What if Microsoft offered its own virtualization solution built right into Mac OS
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Give us productivity software we can really useiWork is one of the biggest weaknesses in Apple's portfolio. It's adequate for consumers, but falls short for enterprise users that need advanced functionality. Apple needs a productivity suite that can compete on the same level as Microsoft Office. Even better, why not add cloud-based functionality to that new-and-improved solution?