- MacOS, the operating system for 23% of computers at U.S. companies with 1,000 employees or more, is making inroads in the enterprise, according to IDC's MarketScape: Unified Endpoint Management for Apple Devices report. In 2019, only 17% of devices ran macOS.
- Boosted by the sudden need to equip employees for remote work, Mac devices shipped to employees in the enterprise sector spiked 34% year over year in the second quarter of 2020, according to data IDC's Worldwide Personal Computing Device Tracker report.
- Mac is also an enterprise contender in the mobile devices space, where nearly half of smartphones in use at U.S. enterprises are iPhones, according to IDC. Apple iPads are the leading tablet among enterprise users.
Though Windows PCs represent the majority of computers used in the business world, trends in end-user choice and a shift to cloud-first business tools "have opened up more opportunity for Apple devices" in the enterprise world, according to IDC.
There's also been a years-long push from Apple to expand the work-focused capabilities in its product lines, which are more frequently associated with the consumer market. Touchless and contactless experiences, staples of the pandemic era, mean that consumers are likely to consider interacting with a tablet if available.
"The pandemic prompted retailers to adopt more aggressive contactless options to lower the risk of virus transmission," said Michelle Evans, senior head of digital consumer at Euromonitor International, speaking Thursday at NRF 2021. "While already present in some markets, the COVID-19 pandemic globally, drove a renewed push towards contactless payments."
As Apple devices expand their reach at the enterprise level, the CIO must grapple with the orderly management of these devices, as distributed work makes IT support more complex.
Apple's enterprise growth is "causing some disruption among many enterprise end-user computing support and management teams, which have historically focused more on Windows device management," IDC said in its report.
Behind the scenes, managing the battalion of devices enterprises use to run daily operations, are Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) tools. Companies manage the configuration and enforce policy on these devices via the tools made by players in this space, a list that includes companies such as Jamf, VMware and IBM among others.