Long gone are the days when a CEO enters the boardroom, with an iPad in hand and the IT department subsequently has to make the device ‘work’.
At the recent Ingram Micro Showcase 2014 in Auckland last week, Apple discussed how its ever-expanding role in business has changed, and how iOS is impacting the industry.
Despite Cupertino’s initial reluctance to enter the corporate space, Apple devices such as the iPhone and iPad are largely making everyone more comfortable with technology, whether that be the receptionist or the CFO.
Subsequently, the company’s role within business has heightened, with the Showcase 2014 audience attending the ‘iOS in Business’ seminar understanding why Apple is excelling within this space.
Incorporating a vertical model to its approach, which features an integrated hardware and software approach, Apple believes that when it pushes the boundaries of hardware technologies, it does so safe in the knowledge that its accompanying software can keep pace as well.
Citing examples such as Touch ID, Control Centre and AirDrop, Apple claims iOS, showcased through flagship iPhone and iPad devices, has redefined user expectations and changed conversations in boardrooms across the world.
With a greater focus on the end-user, and how they can operate as efficiently and productively as possible, Apple believes its Multi‑Touch interface in iOS helps break down previous barriers to business.
“The device gets out of the way to let you immerse yourself in the task at hand,” says the company’s website - when describing iOS in Business.
But where Apple may excel, in security they have previously faltered, especially if you speak to BlackBerry.
Yet in response, Apple remains adamant that it designed the iOS platform with security at its core.
“When we set out to create the best possible mobile OS, we drew from decades of experience to build an entirely new architecture,” states an official Apple iOS Security white paper from February 2014.
“From hardware to encryption to device access, each component of the iOS security platform provides organisations with the resources they need to build enterprise-grade security solutions.
“Together, these components give iOS its industry-leading security features without making the device difficult to use.”
Following the company’s join mobility venture with tech powerhouse IBM, both parties plan to release ‘a new class’ of more than 100 industry-specific enterprise solutions including native apps, developed from the ground up for iPhone and iPad, along with OS-optimised IBM cloud services, security, analytics and mobile integration.
“For the first time ever we’re putting IBM’s renowned big data analytics at iOS users’ fingertips, which opens up a large market opportunity for Apple,” said Tim Cook, Apple CEO, in July.
“This is a radical step for enterprise and something that only Apple and IBM can deliver.”
The first of the IBM MobileFirst for iOS Solutions – the ‘made for business apps’ – is available in early 2015 for those outside of the US, targeting “specific industry issues” or opportunities in retail, healthcare, banking, travel and transportation, telecommunications and insurance, among others.
Echoing Cook’s comments at the time, IBM chairman, president and CEO, Ginni Rommetty claimed alliance “will bring the same kind of transformation to the way people work, industries operate and companies perform.”