Is It Enterprise Time for Apple?

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Here are two words you don't typically see in the same sentence: "Mac" and "Enterprise."

Independent research firm Forrester Research (Nasdaq: FORR  ) has long been an opponent of Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) Macs in the Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) -dominated enterprise world. Forrester has just had a change of heart, and now declares that "it's time to repeal prohibition" on bringing Macs to work in a new report.

The company had previously said that "Macs pose too many problems for IT departments." Forrester conducted a survey of 590 North American and European IT executives and higher-ups, which showed that 41% of companies have an embargo on accessing company resources with a Mac. Instead, companies have always gone to PC vendors like Dell (Nasdaq: DELL  ) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) for their desktop needs and Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM  ) for their phone fixes.

Apple has already been making headway in the enterprise phone market with the iPhone. On the most recent analyst conference call, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer pointed out that 93% of Fortune 500 companies are in the process of deploying or testing the iPhone, citing Lowe's as an example, which is currently rolling out 40,000 iPhones with custom apps.

The rationale behind the sudden shift is that Forrester found that Mac users are far more productive, and Macs aren't plagued by viruses and malware to the same extent as Windows PCs. This frees up oodles of time better spent getting actual work done instead of sitting on the phone with the IT help desk. Time is money, right?

Forrester senior analyst David Johnson writes how Macs are gradually finding their way into the office by executives and those near the top of the food chain, despite corporate bans, and are often willing to pay for the machines with personal dollars. Johnson suggests that instead of dedicating resources toward fighting a rising tide, IT departments should stop trying to hinder their most productive employees and make the switch with "decisive action."

Even though Apple is already the largest company in the world by market cap, it still has plenty of room for growth, starting with China and the enterprise world.

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Fool contributor Evan Niu owns shares of Apple, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Microsoft, Dell, and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have also recommended creating bull call spread positions in Apple and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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  • Report this Comment On October 28, 2011, at 4:30 PM, techy46 wrote:

    OMG "The rationale behind the sudden shift is that Forrester found that Mac users are far more productive, and Macs aren't plagued by viruses and malware to the same extent as Windows PCs" At doing what? Dodolling and drawing ads? MACs have always been allowed in enterprises but they aren't very useful in running enterprise applications designed for Windows desktops. So just how many Apple servers are going to be put in the enterprise datacenters?

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