1 Infrastructure, Interrupted: Apple in the Enterprise Re-Defined Summary The presence of Apple in the Enterprise is at an all-time high, and those numbers are growing larger by the moment. 1 At the same time, the increasing emphasis on enterprise mobility, new delivery models such as cloud computing, and a more user-centric approach to IT, partially due to the Consumerization of IT trend, are rapidly causing a sea-change in enterprise and IT organizations. Departments that were focused on the acquisition and custom development of technology prior to the economic downturn are now rethinking their approaches and refocusing efforts on more strategic initiatives such emerging technologies that improve productivity enterprise-wide, and reduce up-front and ongoing hardware and software costs while limiting IT management time. These efforts include the seamless and secure integration of Apple products from the Mac to the ipad into their enterprise environments. This is easier said than done: Integrating Apple products into the enterprise can pose significant challenges to enterprise efficiency and security, from network file access and archiving to securely and easily transferring files between devices on disparate operating systems. Enterprises that succeed in effectively integrating a heterogeneous computing environment, however, reap significant benefits in the form of improved worker productivity, reduced hardware and IT management costs, and reduced risk. In this paper, we ll delve deeper into the evolution of Apple in the Enterprise, and the trends that are driving it like Consumerization of IT, the resulting effects, and ways to make shifting standards and multiple platforms work together for the enterprise s ultimate benefit.
2 Evolution of the Phenomenom In the Beginning, there was Windows and there was Macintosh when it came to desktop computing. Windows-based hardware was perceived as best for business. Apple-based computing was perceived as best for home use, creative types and children thanks to a rich user interface and a plug-n-play operating system. Enterprises ran on centralized network infrastructure that included uniform operating systems from the server on down to employee desktops. If a change was made to the infrastructure, and thus, the entire network, it was often made at the impetus of IT, not other employees. Smart phones changed all that, however - the revolution walked in through the enterprise front door vis a vis workers cum consumers. The explosive adoption of smart phones on a myriad of operating systems over the last decade has pressed many enterprise IT organizations to provide support for multiple devices, many of which are purchased and provided by the employee themselves, saving hardware cost while promoting productivity improvements for employees. Yet managing and securing multiple mobile devices connecting to a network can be a dicey game without the right tools and solutions, and can put the enterprise at risk. And so, the Consumerization of IT and the need to provide simple, secure and manageable solutions begins. Watershed Moments: Apple Makes a Comeback The ipod (and digital music) completely altered the landscape and not just for the music industry. The millions of ear buds attached to ipods, Nanos and Shuffles brought not just music, but Mac-acceptance, into the very minds of many enterprise execs who had long-ago given up on Apple and its products. Once ipods gave way to iphones as the must have device, for the first time, Microsoft was scrambling in Apple s wake to regain traction in the enterprise smartphone marketplace. 4 Again, consumer choice and their growing taste for Apple products had a major influence on enterprise IT as more and more employees began requesting IT support for their smartphones. RANDOM ASIDE: As early as 2006, Rutgers University released the results of a study on the addictive effects of technology on the brain 2 the findings foreshadowed an affliction that s now rampant among enterprise employees. Save for a few Luddites, «trained» ADD has now become standard personality trait of tech-savvy Americans. 3 ipod + Child Adopters of Mac=Enterprise IT, Interrupted Fish Begin to Walk: But not overnight Along the same line through time and space, the microchip became smaller, computers became laptops, which became lighter, cheaper, faster and more fun every year. More and more people began buying them, telecommuting took off, and mobile workers and remote workplaces became status quo. Standard-issue hardware was no longer standard. The same enterprise IT departments that found themselves tasked with supporting mobile operating system access to the enterprise from Palm to iphone, were also maintaining network access and integrity for employees logging on from home and on the road and the challenges arising from new devices entering the enterprise have yet to cease.
3 Enter the ipad There s no question that the tablet has taken hold in the enterprise. Evidence suggests major corporations are handing out tablets to their sales teams in droves for field presentations, instant purchase orders and access without the clumsy limitations that might come with a laptop. 5 Those that don t have corporate-issued ipads are bringing them to work for note-taking and other uses in offices around the globe. PHENOMENOM NO MORE: APPLE IN THE ENTERPRISE IS FOR REAL In July of 2010, it was reported that half of all Fortune 500 companies were already testing or deploying the ipad within three months of its launch. 6 By the following February, Apple reported over 80% of Fortune 100 companies were using the device, including JPMorgan Chase, Cardinal Health, Wells Fargo, Archer Daniels Midland, Sears Holdings and DuPont. 7 In March 2011, International Data Corp reported that 10.1 million media tablets were shipped in Q4 2010, 73% of which were attributed to Apple. Gartner simultaneously reduced its projection of mobile consumer PC sales by a third for 2011 and 2012, signaling diminishing consumer interest in mobile PC devices. 8 Apples & Oranges: The Downside of Apple in the Enterprise What exactly does Apple in the Enterprise mean for the Enterprise? Ask your IT department, and the answer is likely to be: total chaos. But, Chaos is good, you say. From chaos springs life, creativity, tension, motivation. Well, not when it comes to getting square pegs to fit into round holes. It s a terrible cliché, but it doesn t get any more apropos than that: Macs, PCs and Windows Servers were not created to communicate with one another or function natively in a heterogeneous computing environment. Even with the latest Mac operating system, the presence of Macs in a Windows-based network can potentially wreak havoc by: Increasing load on the server by searching, generating rich content metadata, and routing file copies destined for the same server through the network; Creating files containing characters that are illegal on Windows; Disabling the utilization of site-optimized Distributed File System (DFS) file shares; Improperly modifying Windows file permissions; Intermittently corrupting or deleting files; Not providing password expiration notifications to Mac users.
4 Viva La Difference: The Upside of Apple in the Enterprise Enterprises do not necessarily need to fret over the growing heterogeneity of their IT infrastructure. Good things are possible, and they include: Huge hardware cost-savings in allowing employees to bring their own devices to work; Solutions that not only reduce IT management costs but streamline workflows to a level of efficiency that exceeds the standards expected before the problem existed; Freeing up IT and help-desk staff to focus on critical security tasks and facilitating a more productive and efficient work environment; and, Increased employee satisfaction and productivity that comes from being allowed to work within the platforms and operating systems of their own choosing and comfort levels. HOW TO COPE: Transforming Crisis into Opportunity In order to properly support Macs in a Windows-based network environment, certain aspects of the Mac and Windows functionality must be made compatible. Optimizations for Mac-specific workflows can be put in place on the Windows server, such as fast, indexed full-content searching, server-side file copy support, searching, server-side file copy support, and caching of file metadata frequently requested by Mac clients. Such support for mapping Windows file permissions to Mac file permissions and the elimination of file integrity issues is essential to safeguard critical data. The ability for Macs to utilize Microsoft technologies, such as DFS and the notification that a user s password is expiring, makes Macs as easy to support as PC users and less reliant on the help desk for assistance. RANDOM ASIDE: Happy Employees = Productive Employees According to a study reported by the Tampa Bay Tribune in 2009, Research shows that employee well-being is inextricably tied to higher performance. 9 So go ahead and buy them that ipad or a Mac already (or let them bring their own into work), but make sure you have the connectivity products to easily integrate and manage those new devices into your ecosystem. If you don t, prepare for IT headaches and overwhelming service requests just think of the problems Princeton University s IT department had to overcome in April 2010 when ipads wreaked havoc due to a glitch in Wi-Fi connectivity. 10 As executives and line of business managers, you want to be leaner, meaner and better prepared to compete with the latest technology at your employees fingertips in a rapidly-changing market- place. Apple s increasing presence in the enterprise presents a crucial opportunity to: Run your company as an efficient, financially responsible, secure, and value-driven machine; Make the best use of all the platforms available to your team; Keep your employees happy while ensuring enterprise data is secure.
5 Solutions exist that your IT team can embrace: solutions that will liberate them from the abyss of time management required to manage multiple platforms within the enterprise. These products can drive competitive differentiation, increase employee productivity, mitigate risk and reduce infrastructure costs. Instead of products offered directly from Apple and Microsoft, third-party solution providers are ideal for enterprises because they are designed as a complete, scalable solution, not a patch, so integration with existing and future operating systems as they emerge- regardless of their differences will be supported. Conclusion Think of third-party solutions to the Windows-Apple communication breakdown as translators. The goal is not just ease of working between platforms; it s also a matter of getting everyone, and their respective laptops, smart phones, and other mobile devices to get along, remain satisfied, and to protect corporate assets. It s also about getting the latest trend Consumerization of IT, for instance to work for you, not against you. These solutions don t just enable Apple devices to work seamlessly within Windows infrastructure; these solutions pave the way for supporting IT management of other operating systems and platforms as they make headway into the enterprise. Can you afford to fall a step behind because some of your employees are stuck trying to get the printer driver to work from their Mac? Or because they re unable to open a file sent by another employee? Or their Macs are removing critical enterprise files from your servers? Evolving to meet the growing demands of a dynamic marketplace also means empowering your IT staff to make the most of emerging technologies. Having the right solutions in place can alleviate and even eliminate the growing pains that come with adapting to Apple in the enterprise. What s more, these solutions may even anticipate the advance of other non-windows devices into the enterprise placing your team ahead of the competition and able to focus the real work of thriving in a rapidly-changing world Sales /; be_a_dud
6 About Acronis Acronis is leading the next wave of data availability, accessibility and protection solutions to simplify today s complex IT environments. Acronis technology enables organizations of all sizes to manage the always-on anywhere data access demands of users, reducing risk against the loss of valuable corporate data, and controlling management and storage costs. With proven technology for data migration and disaster recovery for physical, virtual and cloud environments, and secure enterprise filesharing and synchronization regardless of type or platform, Acronis is enabling organizations to embrace new IT strategies and options such as BYOD and Mac in the enterprise. For additional information, please visit Follow Acronis on Twitter: For additional information please visit To purchase Acronis products, visit or search online for an authorized reseller. Acronis office details can be found at Copyright Acronis International GmbH. All rights reserved. Acronis, mobilecho and the Acronis logo are trademarks of Acronis International GmbH. ExtremeZ-IP is a registered trademark of GroupLogic, Inc. Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation. Other mentioned names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners and should be regarded as such. Technical changes and differences from the illustrations are reserved; errors are excepted