By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
July 16, 2010

Enterprises warm to Apple products as personal use spills over into business purchases

Here’s a report that should cheer Apple’s (AAPL) executive team on what could be a difficult day for them.

The results of a survey of 600 IT managers released Friday morning — four hours before Apple’s iPhone 4 press conference — show the company making significant progress in what has been its toughest market: the enterprise.

The survey, conducted for ITIC and Sunbelt Software among what they claim is a representative sample of IT professionals, shows Apple’s products playing a supporting but rapidly growing role in business — thanks in large part to the IT guys’ personal use of those products.

Among its findings:

  • 23% of respondents said they have “already purchased” or “already ordered” an iPad. 18% more say they “plan to purchase an iPad” within one year.
  • Over 80% of respondents use their Macs, iPhones and iPads for both personal and professional applications and tasks.
  • 79% said they are “more likely to allow more users to deploy Macintoshes as their enterprise desktops” in 2010-2011, up from 68% in ITIC’s 2009 survey.
  • 7% of respondents said they have more than 250 Macs in their enterprise. In the 2008 survey, only 2% had more than 250 Macs.
  • 82% said they “will increase integration with existing Apple consumer products such as the iPhone” to allow access to corporate e-mail and other applications, up from 49% in the 2009 survey.
  • 24% who did not currently own an iPhone said they “have already decided” or are “very likely to switch” with an additional 35% saying “it’s possible we’ll switch when the current contract expires.”

The reasons respondents gave for their melting resistance to Cupertino’s products were the usual: reliability, security, interoperability and, in the case of the iPhone, wide application support.

Major sticking point: lack of enterprise-class third-party management and performance-enhancement tools and technical support.

“Apple will have to address these issues if it is to mount a serious challenge to Microsoft’s dominance,” said Laura DiDio, principal of ITIC. “So far, Apple has been silent about its enterprise strategy.”

Apple? Silent about its strategy? Welcome to our world.

Below: a sample of the report’s charts. More available from ITIC here.

See also:

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

You May Like