Government // Enterprise Architecture
Commentary
7/22/2010
11:59 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
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Global CIO: Top 10 Reasons Steve Jobs & Apple Are The Future Of IT

The iPad phenomenon is unprecedented, and CIOs who want to innovate rather than procrastinate need to follow the money to Apple's stunning success.

If it is true (and it is) that CIOs have often been criticized for being impediments to new ideas and innovation, then CIOs need to move forcefully and confidently to demonstrate, day after day and month after month, that they are instead drivers of growth, innovation, and customer engagements.

If it is true (and it is) that in the iPad's first 90 days on the market that 50% of the Fortune 100 have begun deploying or testing it, then CIOs need to stop thinking of it as a consumer gadget and start thinking of it as a powerful business tool that will inspire workers and help create business value.

If it is true (and it is) that CEOs are threatening eternal fire to CIOs who cannot liberate money from IT operations to fund growth initiatives, then CIOs need to be thinking about and deploying the user platforms best suited for creativity, innovation, collaboration, and engagement.

If it is true (and it is) that the age of the CIO Dr. No has outlived its usefulness, then CIOs need to actively and enthusiastically create ways to orchestrate the security and compliance requirements of their environments with a whole new wave of end-user devices that currently are frowned on at best and banned at worst.

And, finally, if it is true that Apple is the hottest technology company on the planet (and it is), then CIOs need to get over their own inhibitions or their companies' legacy prejudices and actively, eagerly, and aggressively develop strategies to make these consumer-enthralling devices part of the enterprise-IT landscape.

No excuses, no hedging, no yeah-buts, and no more hiding behind the Approved Devices list: if tens of millions of consumers are eagerly snapping up every advanced device Apple makes, then why the heck aren't those products good enough to make the cut in in big organizations?

I know this cuts against the grain of established CIO and IT orthodoxy, so I'll spell it out plainly with the Top 10 reasons why CIOs who continue to eschew what the world loves will be painting themselves into a corner, and why those CIOs who conversely lean into the astounding Apple trend will rapidly and dramatically change the perception of value offered by their IT organizations.

1) The iPad phenomenon. The company initially thought it might sell one million iPads in its first three months on the market, but in fact Apple sold 3.3 million and could have sold lots more but was production-constrained. The iPhone, whose launch generated enormous demand and revenue, didn't hit the 1 million mark in units sold until it had been out for 20 months. The iPad hit that mark in one month.

2) The iPad is a smash hit among big businesses. Apple COO Tim Cook offered the following comments on the surge in demand for the iPad and iPhone among Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 corporations, according to the Apple earnings call transcript on seekingalpha.com: " If you look at the iPhone, we’re now up to more than 80% of the Fortune 100 that are deploying or piloting the iPhone, and we also see very good momentum in the Fortune 500. In fact, over 60% of the Fortune 500 are deploying or piloting iPhone. This is also transcending into education institution, and we see around 400 higher education institutions, which have included the iPhone for faculty, staff and students. . . .

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"The iPad, very surprisingly in the first quarter, during the first 90 days we already have 50% of the Fortune [100] that are deploying or testing the iPad. This is incredible" (emphasis added). Yes indeed—that is incredible—particularly for a company that doesn't actively court corporate business. So folks—don't get caught way behind the trend!

3) The boom in Mac computer sales. Some folks thought that the iPad would eat into sales of Apple notebooks and other computers, but the opposite happened:

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