Apple: Ripe for the Enterprise

After years of ignoring the needs of the enterprise, Apple Inc. seems to be making a concerted push into the business world--but are businesses biting?

Once identified only among graphic artists and so-called "liberal" and more "open-minded" IT users, the deployment of the Mac in small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is on the rise, as users are finding ingenious ways to work with Apple's platform, says Melvyn Chen, desktop product marketing manager of Apple Asia.

Chen says Mac's industry usage span home offices, start-ups, firms that have a large number of mobile professionals, finance, accounting and architecture firms, healthcare, real estate, retail and science and technology institutions.

"Enterprise users of Apple's XServe server highlight our solid hardware reputation, low running costs due to the unlimited Mac OS X Server client access license, and versatility as a virtualization platform, or the ability to run virtually on any OS like our latest advanced operating system the Mac OS X, even Windows and Linux," says Chen.

He shares a mid-2008 survey by Yankee Group among 750 senior IT executives which shows that nearly 80% have Macs onboard, an increase of 47% since 2006. "Nearly a quarter of these or more use Macs. Usability features such as Safari browsing, iChat videoconferencing, FileVault encryption, Back To My Mac remote control, Spotlight search, and Time Machine backup were cited as primary user attractions."

Citing reports from analyst firm NPD, the Apple executive says that Mac today is fiercely dominating the high-end computer market. NPD numbers last June reveal Apple captured 91% of the market for personal computers over US $1,000.