Global CIO: Apple iOS Crushes Google Android In Enterprise - InformationWeek

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Bob Evans
Bob Evans

Global CIO: Apple iOS Crushes Google Android In Enterprise

The iPad continued to surge into the enterprise as Q4 activations jumped more than 50%, while Windows Mobile devices dropped out of Top 10, says Good Technology report.

The good news for Google: CIOs seem to be very fond of Android devices, which accounted for 30% of net new devices deployed by enterprise users in the fourth quarter of 2010.

The bad news for Google: CIOs are infatuated with Apple's iPad and iPhone, which rushed into big corporations at more than twice the rate of Android devices as iOS units accounted for 65% of Q4 enterprise activations.

Those figures come from the aggregate customer experiences of Good Technology, a fast-growing provider of enterprise-level software that manages mobile devices based on the Apple and Android platforms but not RIM's Blackberry or Windows Phone 7.

Good said it based its reports on the experiences of its "thousands of customers across every major industry," including more than 40 of the Fortune 100, but those experiences are limited to Apple's iOS and Google's Android.

(Here's how Good explained the absence of those products from its quarterly mobile-device activation report: "Since RIM devices use only the Blackberry Enterprise Server for corporate email access, Good does not have insight into Blackberry handset activation trends and they are not reflected in this report. Windows Phone 7 devices are also not reflected in our activation numbers as we do not yet support Windows Phone 7 due to limitations in its Silverlight API/SDK framework.")

This is the second such quarterly report Good has released as part of its efforts to monitor "the changing landscape of IT and mobile enterprise technology," the company said, and some of the latest numbers—such as the ones above showing that iOS activations more than doubled those for Android—are eye-popping.

Now, it's certainly possible that many of those Fortune 100 corporations that are not customers of Good Technology are huge fans of Blackberries or are widely committed to Android devices.

But since CIOs from every size of company and across every industry are under enormous pressure to mobilize their enterprise, I think it's important to showcase these broad findings as at least a partial indicator of the trends taking hold across a wide swath of large corporations. And if somebody's got some additional information showing different trends, we'll be happy to share those as well.

From Good's perspective, though, 2011 is shaping up to be "the year of the tablet."

John Herrema, Good's senior VP of corporate strategy, said this in a press release about his company's enterprise-mobility report: "If 2010 was all about the consumerization of the enterprise, 2011 will be the year of the tablet.

"The iPad came out of nowhere to define this new category, and we are already seeing very compelling Android tablets entering the space, with more on the horizon."

Just how profound has the impact of the iPad been since its launch in April 2010? "The iPad revolutionized the enterprise mobility landscape, going from 0% of Good's activations in March 2010 up to 22% by the end of the year," the report says. (For extensive analyses and perspectives on the iPad's impact on CIOs and the enterprise, please be sure to check out our "Recommended Reading" list at the end of this column.)

Bear in mind that 22% figure isn't restricted to tablets—rather, that number means that iPad activations totaled almost a quarter of all enterprise-level activations of smartphones and tablets combined.

That's consistent with an extremely vital point about the iPad that I've been making repeatedly over the past few months:

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