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Quick Analysis: IBM and Apple is a good start

July 21, 2014, George Mashini -Catavolt CEO

No doubt you've heard about the cold war between IBM and Apple coming to an end. I've been in the enterprise mobility field for the past five years helping companies use consumer devices to run vital parts of their business. Before enterprise mobility I worked on the big IBM ERP systems. So I've seen the world from both ends: The large expansive IBM ERP deployment and the quick and nimble mobile app revolution. Here are a few thoughts on the new partnership:

First, this is great for all of us in the enterprise mobility field (both vendors and clients) as it brings the first real legitimizing event. Sure, there's been some acquisitions but the big ones were around MDM. This one is deeper and focuses more on the actual use of the devices in business. This should help spur many "me too" moves by other large enterprise software and services companies. Basically, if you sell into large corporate IT you'll need to address their need for mobility. This also shows that the consumer brands recognize the enterprise as the next opportunity for growth as they struggle to keep the frantic pace up in the consumer market.

Another big deal here is the ability for large companies to buy Apple devices on their own terms through a trusted vendor and with SLA's. The SLA's and IBM's ability to support the companies is important given Apple's tendency to change hardware on a whim. Remember how frustrating it was when the new iPhone's charger changed shape? Now imagine if you were managing 30,000 iPhones!

One item in the partnership that's suspect is the announcement of pre-configured apps. There's a promise that the two firms together will deliver over 100 apps and that is touted as a big event in the industry. I think this shows that IBM still doesn't exactly know what enterprise mobility really means. The scale of mobilizing the enterprise is hard to fathom. Apps are more personal and specific than their predecessor web and laptop apps. A mobile app today has to live up to a standard that is unprecedented. People are counting milliseconds, number of touches and time to learn. Any lag, slowness or inconvenience is met with a harsh and public rejection. Apps have to be very focused on the specific task they serve and that will lead to the creation of hundreds of thousands of apps. Leveraging the power of cloud computing to create, manage and deploy these apps is becoming a necessity.

To sum it up, having a more enterprise friendly method to buy Apple devices is great for the whole industry. The actual business apps that run on those devices is the next big mountain to climb.

from George Mashini Linkedin profile: https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140721141945-6096974-quick...