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Apple and IBM: A winning combo for IT

Ryan Faas | July 18, 2014
The breadth and depth of IBM's enterprise knowledge will be a boon to Apple.

In short, you become an expert in the business and IT needs of large segments of every industry and you learn to tailor your offerings and experience to each customer.

Consider how that expertise in customer support will translate into a joint enterprise support initiative with Apple. If you manage the help desks not just for your own enterprise solutions but also that of major companies in a wide swath of industries, you have an immense level of knowledge and experience to draw on in terms of how to deliver support, anticipate needs and how to set and manage expectations using contractual terms like service level agreements or SLAs - the life blood of many IT service agreements.

Then consider that IBM isn't just bringing that level of expertise from its IT outsourcing and support businesses, but of every enterprise solutions and services division in the company — app development, back-end infrastructure, big data and analytics, logistics, cloud solutions, network and device security, business process transformation, project management, CRM, mass deployment, user management and training. The result is an enterprise partner with expertise greater than most enterprise IT vendors out there.

That's an amazing level of knowledge and expertise that is being tied to Apple's iOS platform.

Apple brings more than just hardware to IBM
Apple brings its own strengths to the deal, as well; it's not just delivering iPhones and iPads for IBM to package and sell to its enterprise customers.

One of the biggest things Apple offers is its expertise in user experience design. Although this is obvious, it shouldn't be discounted.

One of the impacts of the BYOD and consumerization of IT trends is that users are no longer willing to settle for the clunky, limited, and inefficient business and enterprise software that permeated workplaces for 30 years or more. If IT cannot provide a solution that's quick and easy to use or that delivers a user interface that's subpar, most workers today can simply build their own solution using cloud services, mobile apps and even social media. With the widespread deployment of LTE/4G mobile networks, dissatisfied users can build and access their own solutions and workflows on a device that IT may have no control over (and might not even know about at all).

That presents a major challenge for IT, and many organizations are still struggling to address this phenomenon, often referred to as shadow or rogue IT. In many organizations, shadow IT is growing because it isn't just end users that are going around IT's back. Many line-of-business managers are creating or purchasing their own technology solutions. The rapid rise of cloud services from companies like Dropbox, Box, Evernote, Salesforce, Google and Amazon makes this incredibly easy for managers, despite privacy and data security issues.


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