Survey: 68% of businesses to allow Macs as work systems

That's according to a recent ITIC survey of 700 companies. Although Mac sales are slowing among consumers, they're ramping up among businesses.

After years of snubbing enterprise IT buyers, Apple has recently started to market directly to that crowd in The Wall Street Journal.

But it's not Apple's marketing that is paying dividends with enterprise buyers, suggests Laura DiDio, an analyst at Information Technology Intelligence Corp., commenting on a survey ITIC recently published of 700 companies. According to CIO, 68 percent of the companies polled "said they will allow their end users to deploy Macs as their work systems in the next 12 months," twice the percentage eight months ago:

"And Apple hasn't done anything to actively promote this," DiDio said. Instead, faced by users "begging to use a Mac," IT managers are reacting to the "consumerization" of technology in the enterprise.

"It used to be that business computers were more powerful than the ones at home," DiDio noted, "but just the opposite is happening now. The computers at home are more powerful than those in the office." And users want that power where they work.

Even as Apple sees its Mac growth start to slow by 1 percent in the consumer market , analysts expect it to increase in the enterprise market. Is Apple's timing good, or what?

But the good news doesn't end there for Apple, as BusinessWeek details more of ITIC's data:

  • Four out of five businesses have Macs present in their environment.
  • Half of all survey respondents said they plan to increase their integration with the iPhone as an alternative to Research In Motion's BlackBerry as (a) mobile e-mail device.
  • Seven out of 10 rated the security on Mac OS X as "excellent" or "very good."
  • 82 percent rated the reliability of Mac OS X as "excellent" or "very good."
  • About 30 percent are running Microsoft's Windows XP or Windows Vista on Macs via virtualization, either Parallels or VMware's Fusion.

Even in a bad time for the industry, it's a good time to be Apple. Why? Because it builds products that people want to use rather than those that they must use. One would think that "must" would trump "want" in a recession, but the inverse may actually prove to be true.

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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